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Ex-teammate of Lance Armstrong says he used several banned substances

Tyler Hamilton, who served a two-year suspension for doping, tells '60 Minutes' that he, Armstrong and other team members used EPO, testosterone and other banned substances.

May 19, 2011|By Diane Pucin
  • Tyler Hamilton speaks to "60 Minutes" correspondent Scott Pelley (not pictured) in Dana Point in April about how he and fellow cycling teammates, including Lance Armstrong, used performance enhancing substances.
Tyler Hamilton speaks to "60 Minutes" correspondent Scott… (CBS / Associated Press )

Olympic cycling gold-medal winner Tyler Hamilton, who served a two-year suspension for doping, detailed for CBS' "60 Minutes" how he, Lance Armstrong and other members of the U.S. Postal Service team used banned substances.

Armstrong, who won a record seven Tour de France races, is being investigated by Jeff Novitzky, the federal prosecutor who spearheaded an examination of BALCO, the laboratory that allegedly supplied baseball star Barry Bonds with steroids.

In the "60 Minutes" interview, part of which was aired on the "CBS Evening News" broadcast Thursday, Hamilton says team members used several banned substances, including EPO and testosterone.

Hamilton was among the people subpoenaed by the Los Angeles grand jury that is hearing evidence in Novitzky's investigation of doping in cycling.

Armstrong "took what we all took … the majority of the peloton," Hamilton told CBS reporter Scott Pelley. "There was EPO … testosterone … a blood transfusion."

Armstrong spokesman Mark Fabiani responded with a statement that said: "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 he could get himself on '60 Minutes' and increase his chances with publishers."

Armstrong, in a post on Twitter, said:

"20+ year career. 500 drug controls worldwide, in and out of competition. Never a failed test. I rest my case."

Hamilton, who had vigorously defended himself when he failed a drug test in 2004, said of Armstrong, "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, 40, retired from cycling in 2009 after failing a doping test for the second time in his career. He said the 2009 failed test was for medication he was taking for depression.

His first official failed drug test came in 2004, at the Spanish Vuelta, only six weeks after he won his Olympic gold medal and a year after he won a stage at the 2003 Tour de France.

After fighting that charge, Hamilton served his suspension and returned to the sport. In 2008, he was signed by Rock Racing, a team owned and run by Michael Ball, a controversial figure in the sport who signed several riders who had been associated with doping.

The "60 Minutes" revelations come about a year after Floyd Landis, another U.S. Postal rider who served a doping suspension, released emails detailing how he saw Armstrong use banned substances.

Both of Landis' revelations and the CBS News interview came during the largest U.S. stage cycling race, the Amgen Tour of California.

After five stages of this year's race. Chris Horner and Levi Leipheimer rank first and second. They are both members of Team RadioShack, for which Armstrong raced for two years, until he retired earlier this season.

diane.pucin@latimes.com

twitter.com/mepucin

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