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Cyclist Hamilton banned for eight years

AMERICAN cyclist Tyler Hamilton has been given an eight-year ban after testing positive for a prohibited substance for a second time, the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) said yesterday.

The 38-year-old, who captured the gold medal in the individual time trial at the 2004 Athens Olympics before slipping into a series of doping scandals, had already announced his retirement from the sport in April.

"In the sport of cycling, eight years ineligibility for a 38-year-old athlete is effectively a lifetime ban, and an assurance that he is penalised for what would have been the remainder of his competitive cycling career," USADA chief executive officer Travis Tygart said in a statement.

Hamilton acknowledged in April that he had tested positive for the steroid DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone) during an out-of-competition test on Feb. 9 while he was training for the Tour of California.

The American said he was battling depression and admitted taking an over-the-counter homeopathic anti-depressant containing DHEA.

Hamilton's Olympic victory was tarnished by doping allegations. Later that year he was suspended after testing positive for blood doping at the 2004 Tour of Spain.


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