October 23/04 8:09 am - Tyler Hamilton Guarantees He Will Prove His Innocence
Posted by Editoress on 10/23/04
Tyler Hamilton Guarantees He Will Prove His Innocence
Courtesy Amy Smolens
This past Tuesday Tyler Hamilton spoke at a fund-raiser for the Tyler Hamilton Foundation at Clif Bar headquarters in Berkeley, California. In addition to talking about the THF's mission - to provide opportunity and access for those stricken by Multiple Sclerosis - he also discussed his up-and-down 2004 season, and treated the audience to preview footage of the upcoming Imax movie called "Brain Power." At the end of his appearance Hamilton addressed what was certainly on the minds of most of the 200+ in attendance - the blood doping controversy surrounding his positive tests for blood transfusions at the Olympic Games and at the Vuelta a España.
He could not go into detail because of the ongoing legal process, but he did say the following:
"One thing I can guarantee is I've never cheated. I grew up with a family who taught me core values and about being honest ... To call me positive was like a kick in the head. I can guarantee that I will clear my name, I said it already; that I'll spend every dime I have to clear my name. We have a lot of options, I could stop the sport and live a pretty comfortable lifestyle. I've had a pretty successful career, but I'd rather be completely broke and have a clear name and be known as an honest person than to have this accusation above my head. It's really crazy, I can't really talk a whole lot about it because they're scheduling a hearing in January.
"It's been probably the lowest point of my life. The worst thing you can call me is dishonest, call me a cheater. It's awful, it's a bad thing, I've gotten slammed in the press and I haven't been able to defend myself because lawyers in Europe and the lawyers back here in the States all say it's best not to talk a whole lot about it ... We have a very strong case and we're confident, my wife's confident, my lawyers are confident. We'll have to really wait until then (January) and then I can tell you the story, it's an incredible story and the world will see that I'm innocent, I can guarantee that."