NEW YORK — A former teammate of Lance Armstrong told “60 Minutes’’ that he used performance-enhancing drugs with the seven-time Tour de France winner to cheat in cycling races, including the tour.
Tyler Hamilton, a native of Marblehead, Mass., said Armstrong took a blood-booster called EPO in the 1999 Tour and before the race in 2000 and 2001. Armstrong won the race every year from 1999-2005.
The interview with Hamilton was broadcast on the “
Armstrong has steadfastly denied doping and has never failed a drug test.
Federal investigators are probing whether Armstrong and his former US Postal team engaged in a systematic doping program, which he denies.
“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,’’ said Hamilton.
Hamilton told “60 Minutes’’ reporter Scott Pelley: “[Armstrong] took what we all took . . . the majority of the peloton,’’ referring to riders in the race. “There was EPO . . . testosterone . . . a blood transfusion.’’
EPO is a drug that boosts endurance by increasing the number of red blood cells in the body.
Armstrong’s attorney, Mark Fabiani, said 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,’’ Fabiani said in a statement. “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 20 years of competition.’’
Hamilton told “60 Minutes’’ that Armstrong told him he did fail a test in 2001 given during the Tour de Suisse, which is raced just before the Tour de France. That allegation is said to be part of the federal investigation.
Hamilton won a cycling gold medal at the 2004 Athens Games but failed a drug test later. He was allowed to keep his medal, however, because problems at a laboratory meant his backup ‘B’ sample could not be tested.
Months later, he was caught blood doping and served a two-year ban that ended in 2007.
Hamilton returned to racing and won the 2008 US road championship, but retired last spring after admitting he took an antidepressant that contained the banned steroid DHEA. He was officially banned from cycling for eight years, and has since founded Tyler Hamilton Training, a company that helps coach all levels of cyclists.
The “60 Minutes’’ segment, which will air in its entirety Sunday at 7 p.m. EDT, also includes an interview with another former Armstrong teammate, Frankie Andreu, who told Pelley he took banned substances because lesser riders he believed were doping were passing him.
Andreu and Hamilton were both in on the ground floor of Armstrong’s record-breaking Tour de France domination, and were among the key men that he relied on and lived with as he put his grip on the three-week race.
They both rode with Armstrong for the first two Tours that he won, in 1999 and 2000, all together under US Postal colors. Hamilton rode with Armstrong on his 2001 Tour win for US Postal, too.
Andreu’s Tour links with Armstrong also predate the start of his winning streak. Andreu and Armstrong were teamed together at
Hamilton’s comments come almost a year to the day another former Armstrong teammate, Floyd Landis, raised multiple doping allegations against Armstrong and the US Postal team.