Hamilton: I have not been treated by Dr. Fuentes. I have not done what the article alleges.
Just as he is nearing the end of a two-year suspension for blood-doping, American Tyler Hamilton is back in the news after a Spanish newspaper charged Monday that he had worked with Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes between 2002 and 2004.
In Monday’s edition of El País, the paper cited secret police and court documents alleging that Hamilton not only engaged in banned blood transfusion practices, but also used EPO, anabolic steroids, human growth hormones and IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1) during his collaboration with Fuentes.
Fuentes was among five people detained on May 23 as part of Spain’s largest anti-doping investigation dubbed “Operación Puerto.”
No charges have been filed and court documents remain closed, but El País reporters say they have obtained access to much of the most damaging evidence, which the paper published in lengthy detail in Sunday’s and Monday’s editions.
Hamilton said Monday that the charges outlined in El País were false.
“I was very upset to read the accusations against me and to see my name associated with the Operacion Puerto investigation in Spain,” Hamilton said in a statement released after the paper’s publication on Monday. “I have not been treated by Dr. Fuentes. I have not done what the article alleges. In addition, I have never been contacted by authorities in Spain regarding these allegations. Therefore, it is also impossible to comment on a situation I have no knowledge of.”
Hamilton’s alleged collaboration began with Fuentes soon after he left the U.S. Postal Service cycling team to join CSC for the 2002-03 seasons and continued upon his arrival at Phonak in the 2004 season.
Hamilton allegedly tested positive for homologous blood-doping – the injection of another person’s red blood cells – at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, but that result was negated after laboratory personnel froze the B-sample, which is required for confirmation of a positive. Hamilton was again tested following his time trial stage victory at the 2004 Vuelta a España and that result was ultimately confirmed.
Hamilton has consistently maintained his innocence, challenging the scientific veracity of the test, which relies on the variations in antigen receptors on the surface of red blood cells to distinguish the presence of another person’s blood. After a lengthy appeals process, the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld his suspension, ordering him not to compete until September 2006.
Among the papers police allegedly rounded up in raids on May 23 are schedules and outlines of Hamilton’s doping and preparation program with Fuentes. Hamilton was identified by a code, 4142, according to police records, El País reported.
Two pages of medical and training programs were confiscated, which show from November to October which races and which doping products he was scheduled to take, the report says.
The detailed information was marked with symbols dubbed “Fuente’s Sanskrit” by El País, which outlined doses of human growth hormone, blood extractions and reinfusions, EPO doses, anabolics, testosterone patches and one item listed as “menopausal hormones.”
Doses and banned products were typically taken before and after competitions, the documents revealed. One page revealed during the 2003 season a double re-infusion of blood six days after Liège-Bastogne-Liège ahead of the Tour de Romandie. Then 11 doses of EPO were marked during the 15 days following Romandie, the papers allegedly show. More products were marked following the Dauphiné Libéré, including human growth hormones and IGF-1, the paper alleged.
Among the other documents confiscated was a fax addressed to “Haven Parchinski” – Haven Hamilton’s maiden name – in care of a hotel in Girona, Spain, where the couple maintain a European residence.
The two-page fax outlines money supposedly owed to Fuentes as part of treatments, which were not cheap. According to the document, €31,200 had been paid, including €8,040 for medical products, but another €11,840 were still owed.
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