LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Lance Armstrong is defending his reputation even as “60 Minutes” breaks news of more teammates reportedly linking Armstrong to banned substances in testimony before a Federal grand jury in Los Angeles.
One of those former teammates is Tyler Hamilton, who accused the seven-time Tour de France champion of cheating by taking performance enhancing drugs (PEDs).
Hamilton told “60 Minutes” in an interview to be broadcast Sunday night that he took those drugs as well and now Hamilton returned the gold medal he won in the 2004 Olympics.
When asked if he saw Armstrong inject EPO, Hamilton replied, “yeah… like we all did.”
On his Web site, Armstrong’s spokesman tore into Hamilton, calling him a “confessed liar in search of a book deal.”
Another former teammate, Frankie Andreu, said it seemed like everyone on the Tour was doing it.
“Things were just getting faster and faster. There’s 200 guys flying over these mountains and you can’t even stay in the group,” Andreu said on “60 Minutes.”
Armstrong’s other close teammate, George Hicapie, reportedly told Federal authorities he used banned substances and witnessed Armstrong using them too.
Hicapie’s reported testimony is a huge development in this case and will be much more difficult for Armstrong to attack or explain away since Hicapie’s a member of Armstrong’s inner circle and was once described as being like a brother to him. He refused to talk with “60 Minutes.” His lawyer cited the ongoing investigation as the reason.
This “60 Minutes” report will air on CBS at 7 p.m. on Sunday.