Hamilton to speak with federal investigators

Tyler Hamilton is preparing to talk with federal prosecutors investigating Floyd Landis' claims of organised doping with the US Postal Team in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

His attorney, Chris Manderson, told ESPN.com that they are working on “ground rules and arranging a situation where Hamilton can speak confidentially and give them the information they need." He refused to say if Hamilton had been subpoenaed by the grand jury looking into the matter.

Manderson also declined to say whether Hamilton had received a subpoena to testify before a grand jury empanelled in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

The investigation is based on Floyd Landis' allegations of doping at the US Postal Service Team. Hamilton rode on that team with Lance Armstrong from 1998 to 2001. He was later banned for two years after testing positive for a blood transfusion in 2004, and retired last year after testing positive for the steroid DHEA.

Hamilton is believed to be just one of several of Armstrong's teammates and team employees contacted by the investigation. Attorney Zia Modabber has said that he has spoken with chief investigator Jeff Novitzky about his client George Hincapie.

Greg Lemond has already announced that he has received a subpoena in the matter. His lawyer Mark Handfelt confirmed to ESPN.com that the subpoena is strictly for documents.

According to ESPN.com, sources said that riders who co-operate with the investigation would most likely not be prosecuted if they admitted to having used illegal doping products.

In addition, prosecutors are said to be looking into whether Armstrong was an operator of the team in any way, or simply a rider, as he has claimed. “That distinction could help determine whether Armstrong would be a primary target if there is enough evidence for a case to go forward,” according to ESPN. “Investigators have interviewed a number of co-operating witnesses, both riders and other employees, about the corporate hierarchy of the U.S. Postal team.”

Meanwhile The Daily Journal reports that Armstrong has hired Los Angeles-based criminal defense attorney Bryan Daly to represent him in the investigation. Daly is a former federal prosecutor and currently a partner at the firm Sheppard Mullin Richter and Hampton.

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