Hamilton unlikely to make comeback after eight-year ban

US Olympic gold medallist Tyler Hamilton has been banned from competitive cycling for eight years after admitting taking a steroid.

Hamilton, who announced his retirement in April, will almost certainly not return to the sport after the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) handed out its punishment yesterday.

The 38-year-old admitted the offence, telling the agency he had taken a product to fight depression that contained a steroid. He tested positive for testosterone in an out of competition test on February 9.

The 2004 Olympic time-trial champion, who formerly raced with Lance Armstrong's US Postal team, became the first athlete to be found guilty of doping by blood transfusion later that year.

Hamilton was subsequently suspended for two years. Even if he changed his mind about retiring, another return after this ban seems virtually impossible.

"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 penalised for what would have been the remainder of his competitive cycling career," USADA chief executive Travis Tygart said.


Jon Burrage [997 posts] 8 years ago

I think that 8+ year bans should be introduced for first time offenders, at least that way it can act as more of a detterent, 2 years or 1 year...still able to train and get a team afterwards, 8 years is a big gap to be away from racing and may make people take the consequences more seriously.

Denzil Dexter [141 posts] 8 years ago

It was safe to give Hamilton an 8 year ban cos he's 38 and he had retired anyway - give a 23 year old an eight year ban and you are likely to find yourself in court because it would effectively be a lifetime ban by the back door. Plus I assume this ban is only applicable in the US.

Alankk [154 posts] 8 years ago

I don't think it'll work as a detterent, capital punishment doesn't work, why would a few extra years. Taking their previous wage back is already a great idea.