As you may have heard, cyclist Tyler Hamilton has tested positive for having a blood transfusion to boost his red blood cell count. EPO, the drug previously used by cyclists before a test was established, has now given way to transfusions- despite the health risks involved. Hamilton is protesting his innocence (I’ve never once heard of an athlete caught with a positive drugs test who actually held his hands up and said, “Yeah, it’s a fair cop- I was cheating.”) and disputing the new test but according to this New Scientist article the test seems to be pretty accurate.
I was really disappointed when I heard about Hamilton’s positive test because he’s shown that he was a good strong rider when he was with UPS and Lance Armstrong, and I had hopes that he’d be a Tour contender himself someday. If he is positive- and it looks pretty sure that he is- all I can say is that it’s a shame that he won’t be stripped of his Athens medal too (he tested positive on his first test but the second test from Athens couldn’t be completed because it had been incorrectly stored).