Cyclists competing with banned riders face ban

Updated: March 21, 2006, 12:15 PM ET
Associated Press

AIGLE, Switzerland -- Cyclists or teams competing alongside banned riders, even in unsanctioned races, will face one-month suspensions by the sport's governing body.

(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)Competing against banned riders -- such as Tyler Hamilton -- might earn cyclists a one-month suspension.

The International Cycling Union saw photos on a Web site of Olympic gold medalist Tyler Hamilton in a race last week in his hometown of Boulder, Colo. Hamilton, who is serving a ban for blood doping, dropped out of the Stazio Criterium Series after UCI contacted USA Cycling.

UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani said Tuesday that while his organization cannot stop suspended cyclists from competing in unsanctioned races, it will take action against licensed professionals racing alongside banned riders.

"We told U.S. cycling that in the future any rider or team participating in a race, even a nonsanctioned race like in Boulder, with a banned rider like Tyler Hamilton could be suspended for one month," Carpani told The Associated Press.

"If Tyler Hamilton wants to take part in this race, he can, and we can't stop him. But all other riders and all other teams then cannot participate in that race. If they do, they can be suspended."

Hamilton tested positive in September 2004 for having someone else's red blood cells in his system, about a month after winning the road time trial at the Athens Games. He is suspended until early 2007.

Hamilton also tested positive at the Olympics, but the results were invalidated because one sample was accidentally frozen and could not be examined.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press