Reporting Mary Bubala
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The world of professional cycling is reeling after the bombshell “60 Minutes” interview with a former teammate of Lance Armstrong’s.
As Mary Bubala reports, a grand jury is hearing secret testimony about the doping allegations, as the local cycling scene is taking it all in.
“He was using EPO during the Tour de France?” asked Scott Pelley.
“Correct,” said Tyler Hamilton.
Scott Pelley’s interview with Hamilton marks a huge crack in Lance Armstrong’s inner circle, one that protected him until now.
“I saw him inject it more than one time,” said Hamilton.
“You saw Lance Armstrong inject it?” asked Pelley.
“…. yeah, like we all did,” Hamilton said.
EPO is a banned performance-enhancing substance. “60 Minutes” reports Hamilton has told a grand jury in Los Angeles he and Lance Armstrong used it while competing and winning the Tour de France.
Hamilton says they used code names for the doping agents and communicated on secret phones. He also says a failed drug test was covered up.
“How do you know he had a positive test?” asked Pelley.
“He told me,” said Hamilton.
“People took care of it,” said Hamilton.
The effects of the allegations against Armstrong are now just starting to trickle down to the local cycling scene.
Joel Traill, owner of Joe’s Bike Shop in Baltimore, says he’s met Tyler Hamilton.
“Sadly, I think that’s the way professional cycling views doping. This is the way the game is played. If we get caught then we are penalized, but this is what we do,” said Traill.
“60 Minutes” also says George Hincapie, the teammate closest to Armstrong, also told federal authorities Armstrong took performance-enhancing drugs.
Armstrong continues to deny the allegations but for how long remains to be seen.
“I feel bad that I had to go there and do this but I think at the end of the day long-term the sport is going to be better off for it,” said Hamilton.
The International Cycling Union denies it helped cover up the failed drug test.