Disgraced former American cyclist Tyler
Hamilton claimed on Tuesday he was given performance enhancing drugs as well
as blood transfusions by Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes.
Doctor Fuentes is the principal accused in the “Operacion Puerto” trial
examining whether the blood transfusions he carried out on a number of
high-profile cyclists endangered public health.
Hamilton though claims he not only received numerous blood transfusions
from Fuentes but was also provided with the blood-booster EPO, testosterone,
insulin and human growth hormone (HGH).
“I was a patient of Doctor Fuentes from 2002-2004,” he told the court.
“In our first meeting we planned transfusions and medical treatments for
“He gave me a calendar with the races and with the dates that I should take
the substances and he gave me EPO.
“The calendar was circled with when I should take the EPO and the colour of
the circle indicated the amount.
“The consumption of HGH, testosterone and insulin were also indicated on
“I didn’t follow the instructions on HGH very much and I only took insulin
one time because I didn’t like how I felt when I took it. I sweated a lot and
my heart rate increased.”
The American, who twice tested positive during his career in 2004 and 2009,
also claims to have felt ill after receiving a blood transfusion in 2004.
“The worst I felt with a transfusion was in the 2004 Tour de France. I
think the blood had gone off or had not been handled well,” said Hamilton, who
confirmed he had first been put in touch with Fuentes by then CSC team manager
and a former Tour de France winner Bjarne Riis when he rode for the team from
“Within 35 or 40 minutes of the transfusion I went to the bathroom and my
urine was black.”
Hamilton said he ended his relationship with Fuentes just months after that
experience when he tested positive in the 2004 Tour of Spain due to traces of
someone else’s blood being found in his system.
“When I tested positive at the 2004 Tour of Spain they said I had blood
from another person in my system.
“My teammate Santi Perez, who was second in that Vuelta, also tested
positive for the same reason as me.
“Perez was also a patient of Fuentes and we travelled together to carry out
a transfusion in June 2004.”
Hamilton also confirmed that he had received blood transfusions from other
people, including one from former Spanish cyclist Alberto Leon, who had no
medical training, carried out during the 2002 Tour de France.
Hamilton, 42, has become one of the most pivotal first hand witnessess
about the doping culture in the peloton in recent months having provided
crucial evidence against Lance Armstrong.
Hamilton rode alongside Armstrong in the US Postal Service team in the late
1990s and testified against him in the investigation that led to Armstrong
being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles last year.
Earlier in the day Fernando Gutierrez Ortega, head of the Spanish centre of
sports medicine said he did not agree with Fuentes’ defence that the
transfusions were to keep his patients haematocrit level stable.
“The transfusion of a bag of blood, for me, does not have a medicinal
purpose. It is designed to increase the training load and physical
performance, not to cure an athlete.
“An athlete that detects a low haematocrit level should for me be
instructed to rest and treated with licit means such as iron and folic acid,
not with a transfusion which, by definition, carries risks.”
Fuentes denies the charge of endangering public health. The trial continues.