IOC spokesman Mark Adams confirms U.S. cyclist Tyler Hamilton has been stripped of his 2004 time trial gold medal ending an eight-year old doping case.
LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (AUGUST 10, 2012) (REUTERS) -IOC director of Communications Mark Adams told Reuters on Friday (August 10) U.S. cyclist Tyler Hamilton will officially be stripped of his Athens 2004 Olympic gold medal as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) moves to close the case before the end of an eight-year statute of limitation,
"I can confirm this morning that we have disqualified officially Tyler Hamilton. He did actually write to tell us that he was doping, but he has officially been disqualified," Adams told reporters.
Adams said retired Russian rider Viatcheslav Ekimov will be awarded Hamilton's gold medal with American Bobby Julich upgraded to silver and Michael Rogers of Australia moving up from fourth to bronze.
"We have reallocated the medals as from today, so the result will now be from the Athens men's individual time trial that the gold medal will go to (Viatcheslav) Ekimov from Russia, Bobby Julich from the USA will get the silver, and Michael Rogers from Australia gets the bronze medal."
Adams said that Hamilton wrote to the IOC admitting actually had a number of cases, wouldn't want to go into names, but it does happen. He actually wrote to us and admitted that he had been doping and so he has been disqualified and clearly we've had to reallocate the medals."
A disciplinary commission would issue a final ruling on the matter after the athlete, who won the time-trial gold, admitted to doping and an IOC source told Reuters "it will happen tomorrow."
Adams said that an alternative ceremony could be arranged by individual National Olympic Committee concerned to honour those who actually won the medals after Hamilton's disqualification and regretted
that doping prevented the real winners to celebrate on the stage of their achievements.
"Quite often they will organise an event somewhere or a ceremony of some sort, but it's not unknown because obviously one of the sad things of doping is that people who should have got the medals don't get their moment in the sun, as it were, in the stadium, Adams said.
Hamilton was initially allowed to keep his medal in 2004, in spite of testing positive for blood doping, because the laboratory accidentally destroyed his B sample by deep-freezing it.
The next year, however, Hamilton tested positive for a blood transfusion and was banned for two years.
In 2006 he was linked to the Spanish doping scandal dubbed 'Operation Puerto', then tested positive for steroids three years later. He said he had taken an over-the-counter treatment for depression, but was given an eight-year ban.
In an interview last year, Hamilton ended years of denials by admitting he had used performance-enhancing drugs.