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U.S. Cyclist, Hamilton, Accepts Eight-Year Suspension for Doping Violation

two cycling athletes slightly blurred as they race past fastUSADA announced today that Tyler Hamilton, an athlete in the sport of cycling, has tested positive for a prohibited substance and has accepted a suspension for a second anti-doping rules violation.

A urine sample collected out-of-competition from Mr. Hamilton by USADA on February 9, 2009, resulted in an adverse analytical finding for testosterone or its precursors, which is in the class of anabolic steroids and prohibited under the USADA Protocol for Olympic Movement Testing and the rules of the Union Cycliste Internationale, both of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code (“Code”) and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.

Mr. Hamilton has agreed to the lab findings and has acknowledged that this constitutes his second offense. Hamilton has accepted an eight-year period of ineligibility in accordance with WADA Code provisions, which began on March 17, 2009, the date of the provisional suspension.

As a result of the doping violation, Hamilton has been disqualified from all competitive results achieved on and subsequent to February 9, 2009, the date the sample was collected, including forfeiture of any medals, points, and prizes.

“In the sport of cycling, eight years ineligibility for a 38-year old athlete is effectively a lifetime ban, and an assurance that he is penalized for what would have been the remainder of his competitive cycling career,” says Travis T. Tygart, USADA CEO.

In an effort to aid athletes, as well as all support team members such as parents and coaches, in understanding the rules applicable to them, USADA provides comprehensive instruction on its website on the testing process and prohibited substances, how to obtain permission to use a necessary medication, and the risks and dangers of taking supplements as well as performance-enhancing and recreational drugs. In addition, the agency manages a drug reference hotline, conducts educational sessions with National Governing Bodies and their athletes, and proactively distributes a multitude of educational materials, such as the Guide to Prohibited Substances and Methods, easy-reference wallet cards, periodic newsletters, and protocol and policy reference documentation.

USADA is responsible for the testing and results management process for athletes in the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement, and is equally dedicated to preserving the integrity of sport through research initiatives and educational programs.

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