Lance Armstrong’s former teammate, Tyler Hamilton, has reportedly told 60 Minutes that Armstrong took the blood-booster EPO from 1999 – 2001.
Armstrong began his dominance in the Tour de France in 1999, winning cycling’s premier event seven straight years.
Hamilton has had his own issues with performance enhancing drugs. He failed a drug test after winning a gold medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. He would have been stripped of his medal, but an error at the testing laboratory made his ‘B’ (backup) sample untestable.
He was caught doping again several months later and was given a two-year ban. He returned in 2007, but admitted to using an anti-depressant that contained a banned steroid (DHEA). This resulted in an eight-year ban that effectively forced him into retirement.
Hamilton told 60 Minutes “I saw (EPO) in his refrigerator. … I saw him inject it more than one time, like we all did. Like I did, many, many times.”
Hamilton continued, stating Armstrong “took what we all took—the majority of the peloton. There was EPO, testosterone, a blood transfusion.”
Armstrong has refuted Hamilton’s comments. He’s even launched a website to combat the claims. He also tweeted: “20+ year career. 500 drug controls worldwide, in and out of competition. Never a failed test. I rest my case.”
Armstrong has attorneys to plead his case beyond that point. One of his counsel, Mark Fabiani, said “Hamilton is actively seeking to make money by writing a book, and now he has completely changed the story he has always told before so that he could get himself on ’60 Minutes’ and increase his chances with publishers.”
Fabiani concluded “greed and a hunger for publicity cannot change the facts. Lance Armstrong is the most tested athlete in the history of sports. He has passed nearly 500 tests over twenty years of competition.”