Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- This article is about the cyclist. For the Canadian Idol contestant, see Tyler Hamilton (musician).
Tyler Hamilton (born March 1, 1971 in Marblehead, Massachusetts) became a professional bicycle racer in 1995, and rode for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Team in the 1998 Tour de France. Hamilton is widely credited with setting up Lance Armstrong the following year in the mountain stages for Armstrong's first Tour de France win. Hamilton also consistently performed well in the individual time trials, placing 5th and 3rd.
In 2001 Hamilton left USPS and signed with the CSC-Tiscali team. He fractured a shoulder in a crash in the 2002 Giro D'Italia yet still managed to finish second. In 2003 Hamilton won both Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Tour of Romandie . In the 2003 Tour de France Hamilton cracked a collarbone in the first stage, won stage 16 with a 142 km solo breakaway and placed fourth overall. For his stage win, Hamilton was awarded the Coeur de Lion (Heart of the Lion) prize, awarded to the most aggressive and daring racer of the stage.
Late in 2003, Hamilton founded The Tyler Hamilton Foundation to raise funds for the Multiple Sclerosis Society and to help amateur cyclists rise through the ranks.
In the 2004 Tour de France Hamilton raced for the Phonak Cycling Team. He dropped out on stage 13, after having continued back pain, mostly due to bruising incurred in a crash on stage 6. At the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Hamilton won the gold medal in the men's time trial. That medal was placed in doubt on September 21, 2004, after it was revealed that he had failed a test for blood doping (receiving blood transfusions to boost performance) at the Olympics. After failing a second such test during the Vuelta a España Hamilton was immediately suspended by Phonak, and dropped from the race. Two days later, the IOC announced that Hamilton will keep his gold medal, due to the backup sample's results being inconclusive. Rather than simply refrigerating the sample, the Athens lab deep-froze it. This allowed the sample to deteriorate, making it unable to be tested properly. Hamilton's career is currently in limbo, and his guilt or innocence has been the subject of extensive debate in the cycling community. On April 18, 2005 he was sentenced by the USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) to a two-year suspension from professional cycling, the maximum sentence for a first-time offence. In addition, he will not be allowed to sign with another UCI ProTour team within a four year period from his first positive. Hamilton intends to appeal the ruling with the Court of Arbitration for Sport by May 6, 2005.
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