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Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong used illegal doping substances, says a second ex-teammate

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 by: Neev M. Arnell
Tags: Lance Armstrong, doping, health news

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(NaturalNews) Tyler Hamilton, who is no stranger to doping, alleges Lance Armstrong and other U.S. Postal team members used EPO, testosterone and other banned substances. These accusations come one year after Floyd Landis, another U.S. Postal rider with a history of doping, released emails detailing the alleged use of banned substances by Armstrong and other teammates.

Hamilton made the accusation during a "60 Minutes" interview, part of which aired May 19 on the "CBS Evening News". Hamilton and Armstrong were teammates on the U.S. Postal Service team in 1999, 2000 and 2001. Hamilton said in the interview that Armstrong used EPO, which is used to boost the number of oxygen-carrying blood cells thereby improving stamina, during the first of his seven Tour de France victories in 1999, and again to prepare for the 2000 and 2001 races. (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-05-20/cyc...)

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

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 response came in a post on Twitter that said:

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

Armstrong defenders say that Hamilton's own history with doping puts his credibility in question. Hamilton, like Landis, had been suspended for doping in the past. He tested positive for blood doping twice in 2004. In 2006 he was accused of using EPO, growth hormone, testosterone and cortisone in the Operation Puerto blood doping inquiry. After a two year ban, he returned to cycling but retired after another failed test in 2009. (http://blogs.wsj.com/dailyfix/2011/05/20/ano...)

Hamilton also returned his gold medal May 20 for the 2004 Olympic time-trial. The medal was already marred by a positive blood doping test that was later overruled on a technicality. The United States Anti-Doping Agency said that Hamilton returned it, after the International Olympic Committee said it could strip him of the medal. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2011/may/20/...)

Hamilton's allegations are different from previous accuser Landis' in that they are part of a federal investigation into blood doping led by the Food and Drug Administration that began last spring and add up to a little more than their dismissal as "just another disgraced rider looking to make a quick buck". (http://blogs.wsj.com/dailyfix/2011/05/20/ano...) Armstrong is the focus of the investigation, which aims to prove that Armstrong and his associates committed fraud against the government, among other crimes (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/21/sports/ham...). Investigators subpoenaed several former U.S. Postal riders.

Until that moment I walked into the courtroom, "I hadn't told a soul," Hamilton said in an email to family and friends. "My testimony went on for six hours. For me it was like the Hoover dam breaking. I opened up; I told the whole truth and nothing but the truth. And I felt a sense of relief I'd never felt before - all the secrets, all the weight I'd been carrying around for years suddenly lifted. I saw that, for me personally, this was the way forward." http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2011/may/20/...

The U.S. criminal investigation is not aimed at prosecuting rank-and-file riders who used performance-enhancing drugs during their careers, according to the Wall Street Journal. Rather, it is designed to bring charges against any team leaders and team directors who may have facilitated or encouraged doping by their riders. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100014240527...

Allegations against Armstrong

The FDA investigation of Armstrong should finally provide a definitive legal answer. (http://www.bicycling.com/news/pro-cycling/yo...) The following list of allegations from bicycling.com, allegations which have all been rebuffed by Armstrong, are some of the allegations under investigation in the federal inquiry:

In a July 2010 Wall Street Journal article, Floyd Landis said Johan Bruyneel told him that Armstrong's team sold some sponsor equipment to finance doping.

In accounts published in two books, Motorola racer Stephen Swart says Armstrong was the central agitator pushing riders to dope.

In arbitration between Armstrong and SCA Promotions (over the payment of a bonus he was due for winning the Tour), former teammate Frankie Andreu and his wife, Betsy, said under oath that in '96 Armstrong admitted to medical staff that he had doped with EPO , growth hormone, testosterone and other drugs.

In a Sports Illustrated story in January, Armstrong is said to have returned at least three tests in the 1990s that indicated testosterone doping. When requested by the USOC to confirm the results by testing the B samples, Don Catlin, the anti-doping scientist whose laboratory performed the procedure, was allegedly unable to confirm two. The result of the third was not addressed by Catlin in the materials the SI reporters discovered.

Former Armstrong soigneur Emma O'Reilly told journalist David Walsh that, in '99, the team forged a backdated prescription to explain a positive test in Stage 1 of the Tour.

In the e-mails to cycling officials obtained by the Wall Street Journal and other publications, Landis alleged that Armstrong told him that Bruyneel and Armstrong flew to UCI headquarters in Switzerland to make a financial agreement with UCI president Hein Verbruggen to suppress a positive test result Armstrong generated at the Tour of Switzerland.

SI reported in January that Armstrong obtained the blood substitute HemAssist, which had been pulled from clinical trials.

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