Hamilton says he saw Armstrong use EPO

Hamilton in the red colours of Team CSC

Hamilton in the red colours of Team CSC (Image credit: AFP)

Tyler Hamilton, a former teammate of Lance Armstrong has claimed that the seven time Tour de France winner used performance enhancing drugs, including EPO and testosterone during several of his Tour wins.

Hamilton made the claims during an interview with the credible "60 Minutes" program that is planning to air this Sunday.

Hamilton rode with Armstrong on the US Postal Service team from 1998 until 2001 and was a key part of Armstrong's winning Tour runs. He went on to to rival Armstrong with first CSC and then Phonak.

He had previously been caught for a homologous blood doping in 2004 and then tested positive for testosterone in an out-of-competition doping control taken before the Tour of California in February 2009. He claimed he was taking the drug for anti-depression purposes, before accepting an eight-year ban on June 11, 2009.

"[Armstrong] took what we all took...the majority of the peloton," Hamilton told "60 Minutes. There was EPO...testosterone...a blood transfusion," he said.

"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."

Armstrong has been dogged by doping allegation throughout his career but has strenuously denied them. Last year, another former teammate Floyd Landis, confessed to taking performance enhancing drugs during his time at US Postal and claimed that Armstrong had carried out similar practices. Landis also claimed that the sport's governing body had covered up a positive test for Armstrong in an edition of the Tour de Suisse. Something the UCI and Armstrong also denied.

With the news of Hamilton's confession and allegations Cyclingnews contacted Landis who had this to say. "At the moment my only thought is that I wish the best for Tyler."

Cyclingnews contacted Lance Armstrong's attorney who released this statement.

"Tyler Hamilton just duped the CBS Evening News, 60 Minutes and Scott Pelley all in one fell swoop. 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 twenty years of competition."

Another former Armstrong teammate, also a witness in the federal investigation, is Frankie Andreu. He tells "60 minutes" he took banned substances because lesser riders he believed were doping passed him by. "Training alone wasn't doing it and I think that's how...many of the other riders during that era felt, I mean, you kind of didn't have a choice," said Andreu.

The bedrock of Armstrong's denials over the years has been his claim to have never failed one of the hundreds of drug tests he has taken. Hamilton says Armstrong told him he did fail a test in 2001 given during the Tour de Suisse, an important event right before the Tour de France, thus backing up Landis's allegations.

That allegation is under investigation by federal authorities.


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