Seven time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, the worlds’ greatest endurance athlete, was hit by a piano today, a Hamilton, upright variety, roughly 500 pounds.
That’s far more than Hamilton’s racing weight but then he’s been forcibly retired for a few years. A former teammate in the US Postal team from 1998 to 2001, Hamilton claims Armstrong used performance enhancing drugs such as EPO and testosterone. He confessed these things for the news show 60 Minutes which plans to air the segment this Sunday. Federal investigator Jeff Novitzky says it’s a must-see.
While Sports Illustrated and Bicycling Magazine have both detailed several mountains of “circumstantial” evidence against Armstrong, what was always missing was the key witness to collaborate the crazy man Landis, like a George Hincapie, a Jonathan Vaughters, a Tyler Hamilton.
That testimony just fell from the sky and there’s not enough money in Texas to do that much damage control. Meanwhile Floyd Landis is swigging a bottle of Jack Daniels and dancing naked to Kid Rock’s Greatest Hits. The best part for the Mad Mennonite is that finally people will stop calling him a lunatic.
Landis has now been legally substantiated, collaborated and in some small way exonerated. Hamilton’s quotes were as painful as a dull syringe. [Armstrong] took what we all took…the majority of the peloton,” Hamilton told “60 Minutes. There was EPO…testosterone…a blood transfusion,” he said.
“I saw [EPO] in his refrigerator…I saw him inject it more than one time like we all did, like I did many, many times.” Add a hand on a court bible and a “swear to tell the truth” and the Legend of Lance has a foundation crack down the middle.
Reaction from the Armstrong camp was swift and aggressive as per operating proceedure. “Tyler Hamilton just duped the CBS Evening News, 60 Minutes and Scott Pelley all in one fell swoop. Hamilton is actively seeking to make money by writing a book, and now he has completely changed the story he has always told before so that he could get himself on 60 Minutes and increase his chances with publishers. But greed and a hunger for publicity cannot change the facts: Lance Armstrong is the most tested athlete in the history of sports: He has passed nearly 500 tests over twenty years of competition.”
There’s a weary sort of repetition in that spin. At a certain point it’s not possible to claim again and again and again that this soingeur, this personal assistant, this writer, this witness, this book, this teammate or that teammate’s only motivation is greed and jealousy.
It gets old, perhaps as old as the Legend itself. The Hamilton piano fell on Lance Armstrong today but there are worse things. The Hincapie piano weights significantly more.