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FBI set to scrutinise Armstrong-Hamilton altercation

Armstrong leads Hamilton in the 2003 Tour de France

Armstrong leads Hamilton in the 2003 Tour de France (Image credit: AFP)

The New York Times has reported that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has asked for video surveillance footage from the Cache Cache restaurant in Aspen, Colorado, with a view of determining the precise details of a altercation between Lance Armstrong and Tyler Hamilton.

The reported exchange took place at the weekend when the two former teammates dined with separate parties at the same restaurant. ESPN reported that Lance Armstrong threatened to make Tyler Hamilton’s life a “living hell” in the law courts. Hamilton’s lawyers, who alleged the ‘aggressive contact’ at the impromptu meeting, reported the incident to federal authorities who will decide if it constitutes ‘witness tampering’.

On Tuesday the New York Times spoke to the restaurant owner, Jodi Larner, who confirmed that the she had talked to an FBI agent and that she would be subpoenaed for the surveillance recordings.

Larner told the Times that she doubted that it would help the FBI because the confrontation occurred in the bar area. “I wish I had the incident on tape, so the whole world could see what happened between Tyler and Lance, and shut up about it already,” she said. “It was a non-event.”

However others disagree. Hamilton legal representative Chris Manderson told ESPN: “Lance Armstrong is a possible defendant in an investigation that's been widely reported, and Tyler is a probable witness. When there's any contact, especially aggressive contact, we as lawyers have a duty to inform the authorities. What they will do with it, I don't know."

Hamilton reportedly testified last year, admitting that he had doped as a professional rider. He also alleged to have witnessed Armstrong take performance enhancing drugs.

Armstrong has always denied such allegations but the website was removed last week. The site had been built as a portal to discredit Hamilton and Floyd Landis - another former teammate who had made several doping allegations against the former Tour winner.