Still on the fence about whether Lance Armstrong engaged in illegal doping during his professional career? One of his former teammates, Tyler Hamilton, is not. In fact, in his new book, Hamilton rips Armstrong apart and calls him a major liar and cheater.
In The Secret Race, which will be released next week, Hamilton “describes professional cycling during Armstrong’s reign as a sport where doping is a mandatory practice for anyone hoping to compete at the elite level,” says the Daily News who acquired an early copy of the book.
Hamilton alleges that Armstrong fooled the public for so many years through his lies, and he was indeed doping all along:
To Lance’s way of thinking, doping is a fact of life, like oxygen or gravity.
Hamilton also admits that he doped, starting with testosterone in 1997 and continuing until he tested positive for “foreign blood populations” in 2004.
With the detail that Hamilton writes about, it definitely puts more suspicion out there about Armstrong. He alleges that the seven-time Tour de France champion (whose titles have since been stripped) “teamed up with doctors to institute a sophisticated blood doping program whereby riders’ blood was withdrawn, stored and reinjected to boost the amount of red blood cells and increase endurance without using detectable drugs,” as the Daily News put it.
It was a scam that Hamilton was involved in and pointedly says Armstrong was too. After the 11th stage of the Tour de France, riders would apparently find bags of their own blood taped to a wall above their beds in their hotel rooms. They would reinject that blood that was supposed to boost their performance for the next day. It’s a process that Hamilton knew all too well:
With the other stuff, you swallow a pill or put on a patch or get a tiny injection. But here you’re watching a big clear plastic bag slowly fill up with your warm dark red blood. You never forget it.
And, according to Hamilton, he hasn’t forgotten that Lance did this right alongside him. He writes that they had conversations about the benefits and side-effects of the banned drugs–cortisone and erythropoietin (EPO), and says Armstrong kept EPO in his refrigerator in Spain.
The timing of this book seems all too perfect. Hamilton is clearly out to make money. And bring Armstrong down with him.
What do you think? Does something like this change your mind about Armstrong and whether he really did dope? Or is it just a classic sign of a former teammate trying to take advantage of the scandal and profit from it?