Hincapie and Hamilton approached by federal investigators

George Hincapie (BMC) and Tyler Hamilton are among the riders who have been asked to cooperate with the federal investigation into doping practices in American cycling at large and the US Postal Service team in particular, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The criminal investigation, led by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) special agent Jeff Novitzky, is focused principally around Floyd Landis’ recent allegations of systematic doping practices at the US Postal Service team.

George Hincapie’s lawyer Zia F. Modabber told the Wall Street Journal that he had spoken to Novitzky on behalf of his client. He refused to comment on the reports that Hincapie will speak directly with Novitzky when he returns to the United States after the Tour de France.

“My desire is to let George do his job with as few distractions as possible,” Modabber said.

Hincapie rode in the US Postal colours from 1997 to 2004, and was a teammate of Lance Armstrong in each of his seven Tour de France victories. He is currently riding his fifteenth Tour de France.

Meanwhile, it is also reported that Tyler Hamilton is among the riders who has been approached by Novitzky. Hamilton rode for US Postal from 1995 to 2001, and was in 2004 the first rider to test positive for the type of blood doping outlined in Floyd Landis’ allegations.

Hamilton responded by e-mail to Wall Street Journal reporters’ questions, saying “I am aware that there is an investigation of other people in progress, and if I am subpoenaed to provide information, I will provide my full cooperation.”

The team was managed by Johan Bruyneel and led by Lance Armstrong in the time period covered by Landis’ allegations.

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