__CyclingRevealed Commentary

 
December 2004
 

EDITORIAL OPINION

 
 

Graham Jones
Cycling Historian

Barry M Boyce
Cycling Historian

Hamilton and Millar, The UCI's Double Standard

Since Tyler Hamilton was identified as possibly blood doping it seems that the UCI and WADA have conducted a vicious witch hunt against Tyler . Throughout his ordeal Tyler has responded in the positive way that anybody who knows him would expect. Although suspended from racing, he has been courteous, compliant, discrete and above all the consummate professional.

For their part the UCI and WADA have been vindictive and heavy handed. To be charitable to both organizations, combating the scourge of drugs is a thankless and complex task. However there is a point where the jurisdiction of the UCI and WADA ends. These organizations are not dictatorships and their actions severely affect many lives.

Last week, when the UCI instructed the USAC to stop Tyler and other professionals from racing in non-sanctioned charity races they stepped over the line. Tyler has been a tireless worker in the building of his Tyler Hamilton Foundation' . This organization is working hard to contribute to the fight against MS and to encourage and support youngsters into our sport. The UCI's action against Tyler severely affects the THF fund raising efforts.

Meanwhile since early this year we have seen articles on the web informing us of David Millar's activities. Pro Tour team Saunier Duval has signed him to a contract. Millar now rides in the team kit (uniform), is attending their training camps, is working on his bike position in a San Diego wind tunnel and is ultimately targeting the Prologue ITT at this year's Tour de France. Millar openly admits to taking EPO and is still under suspension. Saunier Duval is supporting a suspended rider with clear commercial objectives to gain marketing visibility through Millar. Neither the UCI nor WADA have made any comment on this situation.

Regardless of whether you believe that Tyler is innocent or guilty, both Tyler and Millar are currently under suspension. What is the UCI's logic in dictating that Tyler cannot pursue positive and constructive charity activities to the betterment of society while Millar can openly rebuild his career with the financial and moral support of a UCI Pro Tour team?

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