Hamilton Claims He Saw Armstrong Doping

Olympic gold metal winning cyclist and former Lance Armstrong teammate Tyler Hamilton told 60 Minutes that he witnessed Armstrong taking EPO, a banned substance that boosts your red blood cell count thus enabling your body to more efficiently transfer oxygen to the muscles, as well as other illegal performance enhancing drugs. Synthetic EPO was the doping drug of choice for pro riders during the 1990s and early 2000s.

“(Armstrong) took what we all took … the majority of the peloton. … There was EPO … testosterone … a blood transfusion.”

(“Peloton” is the French word for “the group” — commonly used to designate both a large group of riders, or the general field of pro riders.)

If you read the article, note the number of reacts in which teammates and other riders don’t commit to defending Armstrong. That speaks volumes about how toxic (figuratively) Armstrong is right now.

It’s worth noting, however, that it was exactly a year ago, also during the Amgen Tour of California, when Floyd Landis unveiled latest accusations against Armstrong. Both Landis and Tyler Hamilton were banned from cycling for doping.

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  • Clancy

    Serious question: if everybody was doing it, why does it matter if Armstrong did too?

    Furthermore, it seems like there should be a statute of limitations on these things. If after five or so years, you can’t prove that someone “cheated,” move the hell on. It sounds as if this sport needs to seriously considering doing what Major League Baseball did, which is just accept that there’s a 10-15 year period of its existence in which PEDs were commonplace and shrug their collective shoulders.

    • SharksBreath

      It matters because he was pushed to the American public as some type of hero.

      Unless you like being lied to.

      After seeing what he did to Greg Lemond and his girlfriend it should tell you all you need to know about him.

      I used to be a huge cycling fan in the 80′s.

      He’s a fraud.

      • Clancy

        Not sure if his PR reputation portraying him as a “hero” or role model is really much of a reason to go after him while ignoring the fact that the problem seemed to be near universal in the sport. If it truly was ubiquitous in the sport, then how is his position (vis-a-vis his competition) diminished? In other words, it’s somewhat difficult for this to be considered fraudulent if: a) everyone else is doing the same thing you are, and b) there’s very little expectation that you aren’t doing it in the first place.

        It doesn’t have a lot to do with being lied to or not. I’m not a cycling fan, but as long ago as the early 1990s I had a basic understanding that the sport wasn’t exactly clean. It’s somewhat difficult to be outraged by revelations that are anything but revealing.

        I have no idea what Armstrong did to LeMond and his girlfriend, but unless it involved Armstrong making allegations regarding drug use, it’s probably not terribly germane to the topic.

        From what I’ve seen of Armstrong, he seems to have quite the ego and has some difficulty masking his inflated sense of self. This is hardly unique among professional athletes, nor a reason why I should really care if he “cheated” based solely on some arbitrary desire for purity where there isn’t any.

        • SharksBreath

          Maybe you need to know more about his history. Maybe you need to know he was just an average racer before he cheated. Maybe you should know everyone that helped him before he cheated or when he needed help he threw under the bus.

          If you don’t have a problem with a massive lie being sold to you then. Hey. No sweat off your back. Why take the time to post a book if you don’t care.

          If you didn’t care why share your opinion at all.

          If I didn’t care I would have kept it moving.

          You touched on part of it about his ego. T he guy is a narcissist.

          I see him as the Sarah Palin of his sport with a great PR campaign that was full of it.

          Since you don’t care I don’t expect to see a response to this post. Since you don’t care I won’t take the time to respond if you do.

          Have a nice day.

  • muselet

    I read the VeloNews article. The noncommittal responses to questions about Lance Armstrong read like what the teams’ PR flacks told them to say.

    Did Armstrong dope? I have no idea and I’m guessing nobody else knows, either; and I don’t consider an interview with 60 Minutes dispositive.

    On the larger issue: cycling has a serious doping problem—as do a lot of sports—and no credible way to deal with it (the WADA is either a fraud or a cruel hoax, depending on the day of the week). Until the sport truly gets its arms around the problem, the Lance Armstrong question strikes me as something of a sideshow.

    -alopecia