Former Teammate says Lance Armstrong used drugsIn an interview with "60 Minutes," Hamilton admitted that he doped and said Armstrong did, as well — using the blood booster EPO in the 1999 Tour and before the race in 2000 and 2001. Armstrong's string of seven straight wins lasted from 1999-2005.
"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," Hamilton said in the "60 Minutes" interview that was aired Thursday on the "CBS Evening News."
He said Armstrong "took what we all took ... the majority of the peloton," referring to riders in the race. "There was EPO ... testosterone ... a blood transfusion."
Armstrong immediately refuted the Hamilton interview, launching a website that denied the claims. He also tweeted: "20+ year career. 500 drug controls worldwide, in and out of competition. Never a failed test. I rest my case."
But the Hamilton interview keeps the news of Armstrong and his alleged doping program in the headlines.
Last week, The Associated Press reported that a federal investigation into whether Armstrong and his former U.S. Postal team ran a systematic doping program is pushing into its second year, and that the feds recently asked French authorities for evidence in a request that mentions Armstrong by name.
As it did when Landis made his accusations, Armstrong's camp was quick to undercut the credibility of the accuser.
"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," Armstrong attorney Mark Fabiani said. "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."
A report by ESPN said Hamilton sent a letter to friends apologizing for lying about his past drug use. He said he testified six hours before the Los Angeles grand jury investigating Armstrong.
It will be up to the members of the grand jury to decide whether they believe the Hamilton who steadfastly denied doping for years — at times concocting elaborate excuses for his positive tests — or the one who testified under oath about the Armstrong case.
Landis, meanwhile, is an unlikely witness in this case, even though it was his revelations a year ago this week that poured fuel on the investigation.
He was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title after testing positive for taking synthetic testosterone, denied taking performance-enhancing drugs for years, then finally admitted he doped for much of his career — a mea culpa that also implicated Armstrong.
Asked to comment on Hamilton's interview, Landis said in an email to The AP: "The only comment I have is that I wish the best for Tyler."
Hamilton, 40, 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.