Depending on whose version of events you choose to believe, the weekend confrontation between Lance Armstrong and his ex-friend and teammate Tyler Hamilton in an Aspen restaurant sounds either hostile or entirely uneventful. But there's one thing about the incident that everyone can agree on: It definitely could have been avoided.
No matter whose side you are on with respect to the doping allegations, you've got to admit this about Saturday's run-in between the two cyclists: Hamilton was just looking for trouble ...
Think about it: According to reports, Hamilton went to dinner with friends at Cache Cache -- a restaurant at which Armstrong is a frequent patron. Why would he willingly go to a location where the one person he's accused of doping on the U.S. Postal team during his run of victories in the Tour de France is a known regular? That just sounds like a terrible idea.
Some accounts say Hamilton believed Armstrong to be out of town; others maintain he was unaware Armstrong ate there a lot. If you consider how small Aspen is and how fast word travels about where celebrities hang out, both reports sound absolutely ridiculous. Surely these guys -- though no longer friends and teammates -- have a few similar acquaintances. How is it possible that no one would have tipped Hamilton off to fact that Armstrong was a personal friend of one of the owners and could possibly be there?
At any rate, no one did and the following (two) versions of events occurred. According to Hamilton's camp, the confrontation was "unnerving" and "aggressive," with Armstrong asking "how much he had been paid to do the television interview," and adding that his legal team would "(expletive) destroy you," "tear you apart on the witness stand," and "make your life a living (expletive) hell." Now Hamilton's lawyers have notified federal authorities of the incident and say it could fall within the definition of witness tampering.
Armstrong, on the other hand, said the incident was uneventful -- just two guys at the bar of a restaurant exchanging a few words. And if you consider the fact that Armstrong was in his usual place allegedly minding his own business, it sounds like Hamilton was just trying to pick a fight.
Image via Paul Coster/Flickr