Tyler Hamilton’s attorney, Chris Manderson, issued the following statement on Friday, in response to a decision by the World Anti-Doping Agency to withdraw its appeal of the eight-year suspension of the former Rock Racing rider. – Editor
We commend WADA for finally doing the right thing. WADA’s appeal was wrong on the law and wrong on the facts. Pursuing a personal vendetta against Tyler would have wasted WADA’s resources and done nothing to further the worthy goal of eliminating doping in sport.
It is no surprise that WADA dropped its case only three days after we filed Tyler’s appeal brief, which destroyed WADA’s specious arguments for a lifetime suspension and made the highly unusual request for a full public hearing.
Also interesting is the timing of WADA’s withdrawal announcement: after the close of business on a Friday in Europe, and just before a long weekend in the United States, when WADA could minimize media attention. Clearly, WADA wants this to go away quietly to avoid further embarassment.
Finally, we are puzzled by WADA’s explanation that it dropped the appeal “following receipt of background information that was not available when the case was launched…” This is simply not true. There was no new material information provided. WADA already had USADA’s entire case file, and the only new information in Tyler’s brief was contained in affidavits from Tyler and his doctors in which they disclosed additional details of his fight against depression. Tyler had already discussed his depression extensively in a press conference in April.
Therefore, WADA’s stated reason for dropping the appeal is clearly an attempt to avoid the public scrutiny a hearing would have incited.