Sidelined by his Tinkoff Credit Systems team and shunned by team owner Oleg Tinkov, Tyler Hamilton is now taking the team to court over contractual matters. Writing on his personal website, tylerhamilton.com, Hamilton reported that Tinkoff had offered him a new contract on May 3 with "very different financial terms" to his existing one-year contract signed in November last year.
"Since I did not think this was fair, I did not agree," wrote Hamilton, who has not raced since the Tour de Georgia in April. "As each race on the schedule has come and gone, I have been offered the same condition - agree to the new terms or not be added to the start list. Because I believe that my existing contract is valid and should be honored, I have filed papers with a court in Rome to ask for a judgment that would support my stance. My argument is scheduled to be heard later this month."
In an interview last month, team owner Oleg Tinkov told Cyclingnews: "I don't want to see him in the team. I want to fire him. That is it. To me he is fired. I don't know, with the legal perspective it is tricky. I am fed up with Hamilton's type of scandals."
Hamilton was prevented from starting the Giro d'Italia after race organisers pressured teams to exclude any riders named in the Operación Puerto investigation.