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Friday, October 8, 2004
Hamilton to endorse muscle stimulation products

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- U.S. cyclist Tyler Hamilton signed a multiyear deal to endorse a line of muscle stimulation products, even while facing a two-year ban from racing because he failed a doping test.

Compex Technologies, a New Brighton, Minn.-based company specializing in products designed for pain relief and muscle rehabilitation, said Hamilton has been using its products regularly since this spring.

Hamilton faces a possible ban because of a positive blood test at the Spanish Vuelta race two weeks after the Olympics. His Phonak team said both samples he provided there showed evidence he had received an endurance-boosting blood transfusion.

Hamilton also had a preliminary positive test at the Athens Games, but the IOC dropped its probe because the cyclist's backup specimen mistakenly was frozen and there weren't enough red blood cells left to analyze. That meant Hamilton was able to keep his Olympic gold medal.

The former University of Colorado skier insists he is innocent and has vowed to clear his name.

Marshall Masko, vice president of marketing and sales for Compex, said Friday the company is not worried about Hamilton's positive doping test.

"The jury is still out on all of that, so that does not concern us," Masko said. "We have been working with him since early spring. He has used these products regularly since April."

Compex products are designed to help speed muscle recovery after training or competition. Masko said other athletes who endorse Compex products include skier Hermann Maier, Olympic tennis champion Justine Henin-Hardenne and two-time Olympic swimming champion Alexander Popov.

Hamilton said in a statement released by Compex that he has used the company's electro-muscle stimulation products to help in his training.

"I have been using Compex Sport throughout the season to help my body recover from long training rides and back-to-back races," he said.