Tyler Hamilton Diary
Colorado, USA: I seem to always want to start these web updates with an apology for not touching base in a while. Truth is, there isn?t much new to report on, except what you may already know.
My hearing is over. It took place between February 27 and March 2. From what I?m told, hearings generally take about a day or so. So mine was a long one. It took place in Denver inside a law office downtown.
Out of respect for the arbitration process and the arbitrators, I cannot comment on the specific details of the arbitration. But I can share with you what it felt like to go through the process.
My wife was able to accompany me through all of it, which I appreciated since she?s been a big help with trying to sort my case out. But other than her, most everyone else inside the hearing was either a witness or an appointed observer. The hearing was closed to the public.
The days were fairly long. We?d leave in the early morning hours so we could have breakfast with my lawyers and discuss the day ahead. Then we?d head into the proceedings which would last until about 5 or 6 PM each day. After that, we?d regroup with the legal team and our medical experts in the evening. So we were getting back to Boulder fairly late each night.
My parents flew out from Massachusetts to add a little support on the home front. They spent their days here taking care of the dogs and fielding phone calls from friends and family. It was great to have them around.
Normally a case closes when the hearing ends. However my case was fairly complicated given the amount of testimony provided. So, for a number of reasons, it is still officially open. Once it closes, the arbitrators will have ten days to write an opinion. It?s difficult to wait, but I appreciate that the panel is taking its time to evaluate all sides and give careful consideration to the testimony. There is an awful lot at stake.
Each of the days was long and taxing. I had never spent eight to nine hours at a clip inside an office before. I have a new found respect for the working warriors. And an added appreciation for being able to work outside. By the end of the hearing I was pale and kind of puffy from sitting around so much. It was the first time my wife actually told me I had to go get some exercise. I think my body was in shock from the inactivity.
So after the hearing ended, I invited my lawyers and medical experts to join me for a run up the canyon road to our house in Boulder. It?s a 6.8 mile stretch and about 2,500 feet of climbing. I?m happy to report everyone made it ? before dark. I think we all needed it. Haven and my parents had a recovery spread waiting for us upon our arrival. I hadn?t realized how tense I had been over those few days until I felt the relief of arriving home that night.
Five and a half months of research and effort went into those four days in Denver. And it was kind of liberating to be able to speak freely about what I?ve faced in that time period. Even if it was a closed proceeding and there were only a handful of people in the room. It felt good to finally be heard.
When it was time for everyone to head out and catch their respective planes to fly home I felt a wave of sadness come over me that I hadn?t expected. It was a humbling moment saying good-bye to the folks who have done so much to help me through this ordeal. What I have realized throughout this process is there are very few people for an athlete to turn to if they find themselves in the situation I have been forced to contend with since September. So I am incredibly grateful to those who?ve guided me through this process, comprised of it?s own rules, regulations and various levels of arbitration. It?s a world I never realized existed, and never dreamed I?d enter into.
You may have already read the news about the case against Santi Perez being complete. Details are still fuzzy. Last I heard, he was expecting a hearing in late May or June. But for some reason his hearing date was moved up to February. From the communicae I read, he was not able to be present at the hearing where he was declared guilty. The announcement of that decision was made the day my hearing started. I?m told he plans to appeal that decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
We will keep you posted on any news regarding my case. And when this is all said and done, I?ll write a longwinded update with all the details you?ve been so patiently waiting for regarding my experience with all this.
Thanks for reading.