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It’s not about the bike, it’s about the EPO

Tyler Hamilton, one of Lance Armstrong’s most trusted lieutenants in many of his Tour de France victories, has told Scott Pelley of 60 Minutes that Lance doped regularly. His allegations follow those of former Armstrong teammate Floyd Landis.

Asked what he actually witnessed, Hamilton told Pelley, “I saw it in his refrigerator, you know. I saw him inject it more than one time.”

“You saw Lance Armstrong inject EPO?” Pelley asked.

“Yeah, like we all did, like I did many, many times,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton earned my respect when he rode through the 2003 Tour de France after breaking his collarbone. Later he lost my respect when he was banned from the sport for doping. After being busted for doping, Landis came clean with his doping history, which brought back a measure of respect for him. Hamilton says that if a rider isn’t taking EPO, he’s not going to win. Those seven Tour wins that Lance has racked up don’t seem as impressive or honest anymore.

In fact, I’ve gotten to the point that my respect for Lance actually drops now every time he denies doping. His claims of innocence are simply no longer credible.

I once loved the sport of cycling but the cheating and the fraud have long left me jaded and suspicious. If you have to cheat to become the champion you’re anything but a champion.