May 01, 2007
Tinkoff's Hamilton, Jaksche may be excluded from Giro
Tyler Hamilton and Tinkoff Credit Systems teammate Jorg Jaksche may be barred from riding in the Giro d'Italia, as Grand Tour organizers look to exclude any riders with a link to Operación Puerto.
Hamilton's case is particularly difficult, because he has just come off a 2 year suspension for blood doping, but UCI president Pat McQuaid has previously said he believes any involvement in Puerto, even if it dated from before the suspension, should be treated as a second infraction.
Grand Tour organizers agreed over the weekend to exclude riders associated with the Spanish investigation, and La Gazetta dello Sport reported on the full 6,000-page investigation file. They claim 49 additional riders (on top of 58 in the June 2006 report) are implicated by the full file.
There are some reports that Hamilton and Jaksche have been suspended, but the team denies this:
Tinkoff's Omar Piscina talked to the Associated Press today regarding Hamilton and Jaksche's alleged suspension. "We have no intention of suspending Hamilton or Jaksche. We haven't received any sort of notice from the authorities and nobody is investigating them as far as we know," said Piscina.
Piscina went farther with VeloNews:
“For me, Tyler and Jörg can start the Giro. Stories that they are suspended are not true,” Tinkoff general manager Omar Piscina told VeloNews on Monday. “Tinkoff has a list of 12 riders that can go to the Giro. Tyler is on that list and we expect him to race.”
Hamilton didn't ride Liege-Bastogne-Liege, an ASO-sponsored race he won in 2003, over the weekend.
VeloNews reporter Jason Sumner talked to Hamilton at the Tour de Georgia, and Hamilton denied any involvement:
“Take my hair if you want. Do whatever you want. For me it's all done. Nobody has ever called me about Operación Puerto. Nobody sent me any questions. People are welcome to call me. I don't know this guy - Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes,” Hamilton said. “I've never met this guy. If somebody has a question, please ask me. Sure they've sent my name out to the press and I've basically gotten railroaded. But they haven't asked for my hair. If you want my hair, take it.” Hamilton then plucked a hair from his head and offered to Sumner.
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What in the world? How can someone be asked to pay such a clear and significant fine for something they've not even been contacted about, much less convicted of? Unreal.
Posted by: Motorcycle Classifieds at May 2, 2007 8:29:21 PM
Let the Puerto riders race again...
In life, people are supposed to get second chances, so why do not all the organizers give up the stupid witch hunt and let the athletes ride again...
And oh yeah, cycling will always be dirty; so live with it.
Posted by: speeddemononskis at May 4, 2007 1:34:49 AM
great...another boring tour de france to look forward to...
Posted by: TDF Bore at May 5, 2007 11:19:35 AM