Former US professional cyclist Tyler Hamilton has admitted to using performance-enhancing substances during his career during a television interview in the US. During the interview, Hamilton said that he had seen former team-mate Lance Armstrong take banned blood booster EPO.

Hamilton’s admission was part of a long interview recorded for the 60 Minutes show on the CBS network, due to be shown in full on Sunday, May 22.

“I saw it in his refrigerator. I saw him inject more than one time,” Hamilton tells interviewer Scott Pelley, who then asks Hamilton directly: “You saw Lance Armstrong inject EPO?”

“Yeah, like we all did,” Hamilton responds. “Like I did, many, many times.”

Hamilton tells Pelley during the interview that he and other members of the US Postal cycling team including Armstrong used EPO, testosterone and blood transfusions.

Armstrong’s attorney Mark Fabiani released a statement denying the allegations: “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.”

“But 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 20 years of competition.”

Hamilton specifically alleges that Armstrong used EPO before his first Tour de France win in 1999, and agains before the 2000 Tour, which Armstrong also went on to win. Armstrong won the Tour a record-breaking seven times between 1999-2005.

The allegations made by Hamilton support those made by Floyd Landis made last year, who also admitted that he doped during his professional cycling career and implicated Armstrong. Both riders have been involved in a US federal investigation into doping practices in the US Postal team.

Landis counters Armstrong’s claim that he ‘never failed a dope test’ by alleging that Armstrong did test positive during the 2001 Tour de Suisse, but that the result was ‘covered up’ by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). Both parties strongly deny the claim.

Hamilton rode with Armstrong on the US Postal team from 1998-2001. He failed a test for homologous blood transfusion at the 2004 Vuelta a Espana whilst riding for Phonak, the same year that he won the Oympic Games time trial title. He served a two-year suspension and then returned to racing with Russian squad Tinkoff in 2007, and then the controversial US-based Rock Racing outfit in 2008.

Hamilton failed an out-of-competition test for a banned steroid in February 2009, and subsequently announced his retirement from professional cycling. Since then, he has been running a coaching service for cyclists.

Related links
March 2009: Hamilton retires after positive dope test
May 2010: Landis admits he doped and implicates others
November 2010: European trip suggests Armstrong dopingprobe is moving ahead

External link

CBS News: Tyler Hamilton interview clip

  • Craig Hicks

    “Anyone who still believes that Armstrong was not doping … probably believes that Contador ate contaminated meat.” And many other such comments.
    Actually it not’s a matter of belief. It’s a matter of understanding that testimony of convicted winners is necessarily biased (who wants to be the worst bad guy?), that the story in the French newspaper about “breaking the code” is a great story but not the same as substantiated evidence, and that the fact that until 2005 the only the %50 percent test existed to test for EPO does not “prove” anything, etc.
    I neither believe he is innocent, nor do I believe he is not innocent.
    I recognize that I have “gut feelings” that he, and many others, might have been cheating.
    I also recognize that my own and everybody else’s “gut feelings” are wrong with a high probability.
    That’s why we have a justice system based on “provable evidence”.

    It’s sad to see so many people betting their ego’s that Lance is guilty, believing that if enough people just repeat the guilty mantra over and over with enough anger, spite, and venom, then it’s as good as true.

  • PeterLB

    The Omerta doesn’t stand up to federal investigations, only the media, that the riders have been lying to all along. Lets hope this whole sorry saga brings about meaningful change. We all know the sport needs it.

  • Mouchoir

    Is the omerta – the bond of silence between the dopers – finally being broken? Armstrong’s complaint against” Mr Clean” Bassons and against Simeoni was that their speaking out against doping was not good for cycling. It is common sense that any bad publicity will damage the commercial interests of the riders. But if those caught doping can no longer profit from the sport what reason do they have to remain silent? No doubt some who have been caught doping will wonder why they should suffer when others who have done exactly the same continue to prosper.

    The Festina team did not fail any drugs tests before Willy Voet’s meeting with the customs officials in 1998…

  • barry

    Thanks Matt, yes Ferrari – he along with Conti were paid by the Italian Olympic Committee to develope a test for EPO and they were giving all the top riders it as well

  • ssryder

    I guess someone is missing the limelight? What a small and pathetic piece of shit. I really hope a big SUV clips you with a mirror Hamiliton!!

  • Matt

    @ barry
    You mean Dr Ferrari. Not to be confused with Giancarlo Ferretti.

  • adam

    David Millar never tested positive either Lance…. it’s not a credible answer.

  • Rob

    Anyone who actually believes Lance’s story rather than Hamilton’s (and FL) is nuts. He was blatantly on it. Everyone was during his peak. He didn’t test positive because there’s more money in doping than anti-doping and tests were still in development.

    Hopefully Novitsky blows the lid on it all soon. I wouldn’t be angry with him though – that’s how it was. Though he’ll have far further to fall than Landis and Hamilton.

    The sad thing is that Lance probably would’ve still been the best if everyone was clean!

  • blueryder

    Sorry folks but I tend to believe there is merit in these stories.

    There was no test for EPO in 1999 so the French kept Armstrongs samples and retrospectively tested them in 2005 when a credible test was developed- and EPO was detected.
    Armstrong got very aggressive when this was published in the press-but he has always been that way.

    Remember in the 2004 Tour when he rode down Simeoni who had given evidence against his pal Dr Ferrari. Ferrari was later caught and convicted for assisting doping.

    Armstrong also had links with the drug company that assisted the USA Olympic athletes cheat in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

    It is highly questionable that Armstrong paid money to the UCI to assist in dope testing at a time when the UCI were trying to claim the high ground over WADA.

    If he’s found to have doped then some in the world of cycling will have to find a new (and credible) hero.

  • Rich

    Anyone who still believes that Armstrong was not doping during his career (along with Ullrich, Basso, Riis, Pantani, Virenque, Hamilton, Landis, Zulle, Defaux, Rasmussen ,Kohl, Rumsas, Vino,Heras…) probably believes that Contador ate contaminated meat. We all used to like fairy stories as children but the idea that Armstrong was able to completely dominate whilst riding clean against riders who were using EPO is really too much for any rational person to accept.
    I suspect that the insurance company he successfully sued for several million dollars when they refused to pay out will be approaching the authorities fairly soon to press for a criminal fraud case to be brought.

  • Brian

    Wow! There are still fanboys around. Is it that hard to face the fact that believing Lance the great “most tested athlete in the history of sports” myth equates being a complete fool. I guess it is… Some people simply cannot have a life of their own, they need Heroes. Well LA is a wrong deal. By the way, as a factual reminder, Richard Virenque, Ivan Basso, Jan Ulrich, Valverde, Eric Zabel, Jesus Manzano, Marion Jones, Bjarne Riis and so on (they are so many) NEVER FAIL a test in their carrer, not a single one.

  • red balloon

    The for Lance camp always pedal out the same argument that he is the most tested rider in history, blah blah blah, as if testing is some water tight procedure. Everyone knows that doped pros have been avoiding getting caught for years. The plain facts are that pre cancer lance as a time trialist was a middling rider, always 6 minutes off the pace, and that was riding against Big Mig; post cancer, he not only makes up the six minutes but clocks a faster speed than Big Mig. No rider can pull back that amount of time when they are already a pro athlete. Moreover, he raced against Hamilton when Hamilton was doping, so are we to believe that Armstrong was so good a rider, so naturally talented blah blah blah, that he could even beat doped riders. People just don’t want to believe that Armstrong, the tour legend, the peoples hero, the cancer survivor, is a liar, a cheat and nasty piece of work. You only have to read the true story of how he chased down Simeoni in the 2004 tour to realise what an unpleasant character he is.

  • Jon

    Here we go – the tried and tested Pharmstrong smokescreen rolls into action. Discredit the grass and reiterate the usual balderdash about not failing any tests. Anyone who accuses Armstrong of doping is crazy and/or has an ulterior motive, blah blah blah.

    I don’t believe a word of it and I wish he would just come clean for the sake of the sport. How many more decades of doping and cover-ups must we endure?

  • Nick

    Michael, Michael, Michael…

  • kate

    Not convinced that there is no smoke without fire but what I do find strange is that the two convicted and now confessed dopers who are stoking the fire both have a history of depression , financial ruin etc behind them and as Armstrongs’ lawyer points out Hamilton is looking to publicise his story.
    It appears that behind the scenes in Armstrongs teams that all was not the good buddies factor that was portrayed by Johan Bruyneel and there could have been some resentment.

  • barry

    Lance Armstrong is the most tested athlete in the history of sports. He has passed nearly 500 tests over 20 years of competition.”

    there were no tests for either EPO or HGH when armstrong won the tours, just the 50% blood level which was easy to fiddle the results.

    And Dr Ferretti, Armstrong coach, was paid to find a test for EPO, even though he was giving the stuff to all his riders.

  • Jack

    Playing devil’s advocate – There of course is the theory that the UCI & the sport needed Lance so much that at this point
    They were willing to turn a blind eye ? cash & sponsors in exchange for morals ?

    Weather this agreements holds any water I do not know & I do not condone the ‘no smoke without fire’ ethos.

    But secrets rarely stay that way & I can’t help but feel that there is more to come out about the cycling years between 1999 – 2005.

  • Michael

    If Lance Armstrong was at it how on earth did he manage to ‘avoid’ being caught out with so many tests? Looks like another example of someone trying to cash in on rumour that so many want to believe.

    Is it really so inconceivable that Armstrong was just a hugely focussed individual who set his sights on something and achieved it?

    If he passed around 500 tests over 20 years then I think that says it all – after all the tests catch out other people do they not?

    Get over it and leave the guy alone.