On 60 Minutes tonight, Lance Armstrong's former teammate Tyler Hamilton added more fuel to the fire involving the Tour de France star's alleged doping -- specifically use of the red-cell boosting drug erythropoietin or EPO. He said that Armstrong failed a drug test in 2001 and that Lance, with the help of the International Cycling Union (UCI), "took care of it."
When asked how he knew this, Hamilton said:
(Armstrong) told me...I know that Lance's people and the people from the other side from - I believe from the governing body of the sport - figured out a way for it to go away.
The 60 Minutes report further revealed that there was apparently a meeting between Armstrong's people and the UCI, in which they discussed test procedures and how to beat future tests.
Later, Armstrong made two donations to the UCI that totaled $125,000, which 60 Minutes seemed to allege were made to help the athlete get those test results to "go away."
Wow, this is HUGE.
As for Hamilton, he must understand the gravity of pointing the finger at the UCI being involved in a conspiracy to hide Armstrong's doping. He's opened a MAJOR can of worms that could ruin lives and the reputation of an entire organization. Judging from the interview, it doesn't seem like he's after much more than to set things right and to allay a guilty conscience.
At the same time, how does Lance come off looking in all of this?
Angry. I'd even venture to say ... defensive. Just look at the website he put up on Thursday called Facts4Lance.com, on which he tries to tear down the credibility of Hamilton, Frankie Andreu, Floyd Landis, and 60 Minutes. He whines that the news show didn't allow him to respond to his accusers, yet a spokesperson from the show told Business Insider, "Lance Armstrong was given every opportunity to appear on 60 Minutes but he and his lawyers consistently declined."
How obnoxious is that?! Whine that you haven't been allowed to state your case, when the reality is that you've been offered the chance multiple times. Ugh.
Forget speaking to real journalists to defend himself. He clearly just wants to use his little website, Twitter and thug-wannabe lawyers to lash out at Hamilton and anyone else brave enough to come out of the woodwork. All the while, his angry, bitter, shady behavior is doing absolutely nothing positive for his rep. If anything, it only serves to make him look guilty, guiltier, guiltiest. If he has any hopes of saving his own @ss, he best defend himself -- instead of pointing the finger at everyone else -- ASAP.
Do you think tonight's 60 Minutes offered damning evidence of Lance's guilt? Do you think he's acting angry and defensive?
Image via Angus Kingston/Flickr