May 22, 2011
Armstrong lawyer refutes Hincapie report
A lawyer for Lance Armstrong released a statement Sunday to refute a report that another former teammate said he saw the seven-time Tour de France champion use performance-enhancing drugs.
On Friday, the CBS program "60 Minutes" reported that George Hincapie, who was a member of Armstrong's U.S. Postal Service cycling team, told federal authorities that he and Armstrong supplied each other with EPO and discussed having used testosterone to prepare for races.
The report came one day after news that Tyler Hamilton told "60 Minutes" correspondent Scott Pelley that Armstrong used EPO, which boosts the production of red blood cells, to win the 1999 Tour de France -- the first of Armstrong's victories in the event.
The statement from Mark Fabiani, counsel for Armstrong, strongly went after the claims in the "60 Minutes" report about Hincapie.
"In its unpardonable zeal to smear Lance Armstrong, CBS has also attacked the reputation of George Hincapie. We are confident that the statements attributed to Hincapie are inaccurate and that the reports of his testimony are unreliable," Fabiani's statement said.
Fabiani added that Hincapie and his counsel have publicly said they did not reveal any aspects of the rider's testimony. Hincapie said on his Twitter feed Friday that he never spoke with "60 Minutes," and that he "cannot comment on anything relating to the ongoing investigation."
Fabiani noted in the statement that government investigators and prosecutors have said they are not the source CBS used for the Hincapie report.
"CBS's reporting on this subject has been replete with broken promises, false assurances, and selective reliance on witnesses upon whom no reputable journalist would rely," the statement said. "This latest alleged revelation is no more reliable than CBS's earlier claims."
Hincapie, 37, is one of only two riders in Tour de France history to have raced on eight Tour-winning teams. He has four stage wins in the sport's biggest race.
"60 Minutes" was unable to interview Hincapie, who it reported was among a least three former teammates who testified that they used PEDs, and Armstrong did as well.
Former teammate Frankie Andreu is also a witness in the federal investigation and told the program he used banned substances to keep up with lesser riders who he believed were doping and were passing him by.
Hamilton was on the U.S. Postal Service team for Armstrong's first three Tour wins, and said Armstrong used EPO to prepare for the race.
"I saw it in his refrigerator, I saw him inject it more than one time," Hamilton told Pelley. "Like we all did, like I did many, many times."
Armstrong has consistently denied taking PEDs and on Thursday declared his innocence again on Twitter, saying: "20+ year career. 500 drug controls worldwide, in and out of competition. Never a failed test. I rest my case,"
Hamilton, 40, retired from cycling in 2009 after failing an out-of-competition drug test. The illegal substance, DHEA, was in an over-the-counter anti- depressant he had been taking. Hamilton had previously served a two-year suspension for a failed doping test.