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Cycling News Addendum for December 1, 2004

Edited by John Stevenson

The following is the full text of the statement issued yesterday by Tyler Hamilton on his and the Phonak team's website

Hombrechtikon/Girona, 30.11.2004

As of November 25, 2004 I am no longer a member of the Phonak Professional Cycling Team based in Switzerland.

After many discussions with team management, we concluded together that it would not be possible for the team to continue at the level we hoped with my name on the roster. Specifically, it would be impossible for Phonak to be accepted into the UCI Pro Tour with one of its riders facing charges of using prohibited performance enhancing methods.

We had hoped my facing the judicial process alone, apart from the team, would pave the way for Phonak being included in the Pro Tour. Knowing that the Phonak cycling team has done everything it could to meet the demands required by the UCI to be accepted into the Pro Tour, we were very disappointed to learn today that the team would not be included after all.

I jointed the Phonak Cycling Team in 2004 with high hopes of building one of the best teams in cycling. Together we accomplished a number of goals, namely being invited to the Tour de France in July.

While at Phonak, I played a large role in bringing in various sponsors, riders and staff. It is out of loyalty to them and the remaining riders and staff that I accepted the premature termination of my contract which was due to expire at the end of the 2005 season.

By stepping aside, I had hoped to see the Phonak Team accepted into the Pro Tour. I also hoped to see the team carry out the long-term plans we put in place last January. While I was saddened to have to part company with a group of people I care for so deeply, it seemed this was the only way to keep the team operating and able to compete at the highest level of the sport of cycling.

It is my hope they will still be able to accomplish this goal.

I am very sad the challenges I face personally have had such a wide ranging impact on so many. This ordeal now affects the Phonak riders, staff, sponsors and their families. On a personal level, and on behalf of everyone involved, I am more committed than ever to getting to the bottom of all this.

I want to express my complete and overwhelming appreciation to Andy Rihs and the team management of Phonak for standing beside me as long as they could. Their support has been unprecedented and I am very grateful for everything they have done for me to date.

This said, I am looking forward to the judicial process in my case and having the opportunity to prove my innocence. It is my sincere hope that once I am exonerated I can rejoin the professional peloton and the sport I love.

Tyler Hamilton

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