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Tyler Hamilton Suspended from Phonak / Ode to bicycles

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This story, if true, is pretty sad to me. I’ve been a big fan of Tyler Hamilton for 5-6 years now. CNN reports the following:

Hamilton, 33, tested positive after his Athens victory on August 19 and again after a time trial at the Vuelta in Spain on September 18.

The tests showed that he had allegedly received illegal blood tranfusions to boost performance.

Failing two doping tests…doesn’t look good. I do hope that he is cleared of wrong doing, but even if he is, he’ll be wearing this invesigation for the rest of his career. Plus, it’s terrible for the sport. One letter to the editor at Velonews says this:

I’ll say goodbye to a sport where it seems nothing is real, and champions get their amazing strength from a syringe. From now on, I’ll follow professional wrestling and cartoons, where it’s easier not to be fooled into thinking people can achieve the impossible.

Doping cyclists will kill cycling. At least they’ll make professional cycling irrelevant. Irrespective of the truth of these particular allegations, doping continues to besmirch the credibility of professional cycling. It’s a rather poisonous situation when the birddogging cycling press continues to make allegations against Lance Armstrong and he can do nothing to defend himself excep assert his innocence. One can’t prove innocence in this matter. Blood tests can confirm that a person is doping, but they can’t confirm that they aren’t doping.

On a day when I was going to note the wonders of the velocipede-turned-wifi-hotspot Magic Bike, I’m pretty mad to have to mention this sordid affair. What a big step back this is for U.S. Cycling.

I know most of you don’t care about this, and, with everything else going on in the world, you’re certainly entitled not to care. But the bicycle is my favorite machine. So simple, so pure, so effective. So quiet, so functional, so sustainable. If we all rode bikes, we’d be a thin culture, gas would cost less, and we’d know more of our neighbor’s names. We’d realize that our street is actually a gentle hill, and wouldn’t have to fight for parking places all the time.

Indeed, though bicycles clearly wouldn’t solve all of life’s problems, they sure could make a lot of our problems smaller. Here’s to the bicycle, that blessed machine.

love it, hate it, there’s more of it at Pacetown.

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