Federal prosecutors, having just witnessed the pratfalls of a haphazard prosecution in the very public Barry Bonds perjury trial, are trying to avoid egg on their faces again. The next big fish, “squeaky clean” Lance Armstrong, amid “new” allegations that he took EPO in front of a teammate, and that they “all did it together”, this time coming from a different cyclist, had the opportunity to rebutt former teammate Tyler Hamilton on CBS’ 60 Minutes Sunday, but can’t come to terms on the interview’s terms with 60 Minutes producer and CBS News Chairman Jeff Fager. How surprising! Apparently 60 Minutes, a program with journalistic integrity, is unwilling to let slippery Lance pre-approve what questions can be asked, though Lance, as always, has it spun as though he is virtually being scumbagged by the man.
Lance Armstrong and 60 Minutes are on a collision course, with the cycling champion accusing the CBS program of unfair tactics in an upcoming broadcast about allegations of illegal doping by Armstrong.
The show has “basically reneged” on promises made to him, Armstrong told me Thursday night, and “everyone would be frustrated” by such treatment. He said of the producer on the story, “I would not call him a straight shooter… My version of events has never changed on this, and won’t.”
CBS News Chairman Jeff Fager, who is also executive producer of 60 Minutes, dismissed the complaints. “We have been so thorough and fair to Lance Armstrong,” Fager said, adding: “We have shared with them every single allegation in our story… This is a PR game. Our reporters have done a first-class job.”
Negotiations over whether Armstrong would grant an interview for Sunday’s program broke down this week amid accusations of bad faith.
So what exactly would be unfair to Lance about answering a bunch of questions in an interview in which he gets to set whatever record straight that seems to be dogging him, you know, the doping allegation of the day? The dalliance with 60 Minutes is just a smokescreen, because Lance is not about to do any television interviews at all, since investigators will be waiting to hear his answers so they can use them against him after they indict him. Since he’s not been under oath, Lance has been free to lie without consequences for all these years.
Those days are ending. The Feds have gotten mad thorough, and they’ve got some evidence and are off internationally gathering some more, and the evidence will surely contradict Lance’s lies. What of the Tyler Hamilton EPO accusations and this probe going international?
Tyler Hamilton, a former teammate of Lance Armstrong, told ”60 Minutes” that he used performance-enhancing drugs with the seven-time Tour de France winner to cheat in cycling races, including the tour.
Hamilton said Armstrong took a blood-booster called EPO in the 1999 tour and before the race in 2000 and 2001. Armstrong won the race every year from 1999-2005.
The interview with Hamilton was broadcast on the ”CBS Evening News” on Thursday.
”I saw (EPO) in his refrigerator. … I saw him inject it more than one time,” Hamilton said, ”like we all did. Like I did, many, many times.”
Hamilton told ”60 Minutes” reporter Scott Pelley: ”(Armstrong) took what we all took … the majority of the peloton,” referring to riders in the race. ”There was EPO … testosterone … a blood transfusion.”
EPO is a drug that boosts endurance by increasing the number of red blood cells in the body.
EPO has also been found to spike trace levels of HGH. More:
Recently, American investigators reached out to their colleagues in France with an evidence request that specifically targets U.S. Postal and mentions Armstrong by name, according to those who have seen it.
The Americans requested urine samples that were taken from U.S. Postal riders for anti-doping controls and were subsequently frozen and stored by France’s anti-doping agency. The requested samples included those from the 1999 tour.
French authorities also have been asked to interview and take witness statements from people there who were connected to U.S. Postal or who worked in French anti-doping while Armstrong dominated cycling’s glamour race.
We’re sure Bonds is happy that his case came up first. Clemens is up next, and then Lance, the really big fish will get his day in court. In the meantime, he’s taken to smear campaigns against 60 Minutes, tweeting and starting websites about his innocence.