'60 Minutes' Report Accuses Lance Armstrong of Doping

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The 60 Minutes segment last night last with Tyler Hamilton, Lance Armstrong's teammate on the U.S. Postal Service cycling team from 1998-2001, who says the seven time Tour de France winner took performance enhancing drugs and encouraged a spirit on non-compliance was shocking. 

In advance of the segment's airing, Armstrong, who declined to talk to 60 Minutes, criticized the show's producers and denied the allegations. He also attacked Hamilton, telling The Daily Beast, "Tyler Hamilton just duped the CBS Evening News, 60 Minutes and Scott Pelley all in one fell swoop." 

Among Hamilton's specific claims to Scott Pelley:

  • He witnessed Armstrong take performance enhancing drugs, including testosterone and erythropoietin (EPO), a blood doping agent.
  • Armstrong administered testosterone to Hamilton and an another teammate by squirting the dose into their mouths.
  • Armstrong tested positive for EPO at the Tour de Switzerland in 2001, but "Lance’s people and people from the other side -- I believe from the governing body of the sport -- figured out a way for it to go away.”
  • Armstrong was "relaxed" and "off the cuff" about the implications of a positive test
  • Other cyclists on the team, including Hamilton, were on EPO, which was handed out to riders in white lunch boxes.
  • U.S. Postal team members used secret cell phones not registered in their names to discuss performance-enhancing drugs, and that each drug had a different code name. (EPO, for example, was known as "Poe" or "Edgar Allen Poe")
  • In the middle of the 2000 Tour de France, he and Armstrong flew by private jet to Valencia, Spain, where they underwent a blood doping procedure in a hotel room.

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Hamilton returned his 2004 Olympic gold medal to the United States Anti Doping Agency last week. He says he made related all this information last year in a six-hour appearance before the federal grand jury investigating Armstrong's involvement in any "organized doping operation" on the U.S. Postal team between the years 1999-2004.

Considering the drip-drop nature of the allegations so far, it was striking to hear this much from one man in one segment. But where was all this five years ago? A grand jury indictment against Armstrong is still a possibility, but between the density of the allegations and ten years of lag time, will anyone take note?

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.