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Page last updated at 16:02 GMT, Friday, 17 April 2009 17:02 UK

Disgraced rider Hamilton to quit

Tyler Hamilton

Olympic gold medalist Tyler Hamilton, who was banned for two years for doping in 2005, is to retire after testing positive for a banned antidepressant.

The positive test could bring a ban of eight years for the 38-year-old rider, who is suffering from depression.

"I took a banned substance," said Hamilton. "I accept the consequences. You make mistakes in your life and I accept the penalty like a man."

He won gold at Athens in 2004 but the win was clouded by the doping scandal.

Cycling is just a sport, racing your bike from Point A to Point B. What I'm going through is so much bigger

Cyclist Tyler Hamilton

Hamilton was allowed to keep the gold medal because his "B" sample could not be tested, but a month later, he tested positive again.

Hamilton said he has been fighting depression for many years, brought on largely by a divorce and his mother's struggle with breast cancer.

He was clinically diagnosed in September 2003, a year where he won a stage of the Tour de France.

"This isn't about a test," added Hamilton. "It's a bigger issue. It's a disease that I'm going through, that my family has gone through, that I need to take care of.

"Cycling is just a sport, racing your bike from Point A to Point B. What I'm going through is so much bigger."



see also
Hamilton gets two-year suspension
19 Apr 05 |  Cycling
Hamilton faces Greek drug probe
20 Dec 04 |  Cycling
Under-fire Hamilton fired by team
30 Nov 04 |  Cycling
Hamilton faces CAS appeal
28 Sep 04 |  Cycling
Banned Hamilton keeps Athens gold
27 Jun 06 |  Cycling
Hamilton ride prompts ban threat
21 Mar 06 |  Cycling
Hamilton has ban appeal rejected
11 Feb 06 |  Cycling
Hamilton begins doping ban appeal
11 Jan 06 |  Cycling


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