Cycling union denies allegations of Armstrong cover-up

Lance Armstrong, right, speaks with Tyler Hamilton before the start of the 204.5km second stage of...

Lance Armstrong, right, speaks with Tyler Hamilton before the start of the 204.5km second stage of the Tour de France cycling race from La Ferte-sous-Jouarre to Sedan in this July 7, 2003 file photo. (REUTERS/Vincent Kessler)

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The International Cycling Union has denied allegations that it helped cover up a positive drug test for seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong in 2001.

Former Armstrong teammate Tyler Hamilton told CBS-TV's "60 Minutes" that he saw Armstrong use performance-enhancing drugs during his first Tour de France win in 1999, and in the same interview that aired Sunday night added that the UCI helped cover up a positive Armstrong test for EPO during the 2001 Tour of Switzerland. EPO helps boost the production of red blood cells.

"The UCI is deeply shocked by the seriousness of the allegations made on the '60 Minutes' program aired by U.S. television network CBS, and by the extent of the media interest in the case, and wishes to state once again that it has never altered or hidden the results of a positive test," the UCI said in a statement on Monday.

"The allegations of Mr. Tyler Hamilton are completely unfounded," the statement continued. "The UCI can only express its indignation at this latest attempt to damage the image of cycling by a cyclist who has not hesitated to abuse the trust of all followers of cycling on several occasions in the past. At no time did he see fit to inform the UCI of the events he claims to have witnessed 10 years ago, and which he is now using in his attempt to harm the UCI.

"The UCI can only confirm that Lance Armstrong has never been notified of a positive test result by any anti-doping laboratory."

Hamilton was on the U.S. Postal Service team for Armstrong's first three Tour de France wins, and said Armstrong used EPO to prepare for the race.

Shortly after "60 minutes" released a portion of the interview last week, Armstrong responded to Hamilton's claims on his Twitter account.

"20+ year career. 500 drug controls worldwide, in and out of competition. Never a failed test. I rest my case," Armstrong tweeted.

Hamilton retired from cycling in 2009. He denied doping allegations during his career, but has since admitted to using performance-enhancing substances.


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