Monday, May 23, 2011

Lance Armstrong Comprehensively BUSTED on 60 Minutes

Tyler Hamilton was a former member of the US Postal Service Cycling Team that won three successsive Tour De France championships from 1999-2001 with Lance Armstrong finishing with the maillot jaune signifying the fastest cyclist all three years.

Read the entire story at the link introducing the story, but Tyler Hamilton's account was utterly riveting to me yesterday:
Some of the small things Hamilton described could have a big impact on the public and, if the case were ever to go to trial, on jurors.

• The idea of using "secret" phones to discuss illicit drugs is merely practical, but the image of team staff distributing performance-enhancing drugs in white lunch bags to the favored riders on the team as though they were school kids is striking. Hamilton's recollection of his reaction when he was included shows the power of group-think that helps perpetuate doping.

"In a way, it was also an honor that, 'Wow, like, they think I'm good enough to be with the A Team guys," he said on the show.

• Hamilton's account of Armstrong using an eyedropper to administer a drop of Andriol, a liquid form of testosterone, to teammates and himself after a race paints another ugly picture. In a grimly amusing aside, Hamilton alleged that when Armstrong arranged to send him EPO by mail, an unknown intermediary used either FedEx or DHL. Competition with those very same international packaging services was one of the reasons the U.S. Postal Service decided to sponsor the team in the first place.

• Finally, how much more ironic could it get in this dark saga than code-naming EPO after one of the world's best-known Gothic writers, Edgar Allan Poe?

Not mentioned in the ESPN article, but very moving also was Hamilton's downplaying of the particular guilt of Lance, which the rather smarmy interviewer Scott Pelley kept referring to as some sort of mastermind.

Hamilton kept putting the Armstrong role into perspective, reminding Pelley that Tyler and the other US participants in doping were only there because of Lance's enormous exertions, to a certain extent.

Most discouraging was Hamilton's frequent reminders to the celebritard-obsessed successor to Kati Couric next week that about 60-70 members of the USPS tema's jobs depended on Lance's success. Also, that almost everyone else in the "peliton" at that time on both the USA and foreign teams was using to one degree or another.

When Pelley self-righeously kept repeating that Lance was using the illegal ingredients, Hamilton would interject quietly "as was everybody else on the US team and most of the other foreign teams as well."

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