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In latest cycling doping scandal, Hamilton gives up gold

By Lynn Herrmann     May 21, 2011 in Sports
Lausanne - Tyler Hamilton, the US cyclist who won a gold medal at the 2004 Olympics, has admitted to doping during his cycling career, voluntarily gave up his gold medal to the US Anti-Doping Agency and placed pressure on cycling legend Lance Armstrong.
Hamilton, 40, admitted on a Thursday broadcast of the “CBS Evening News” he was involved in doping during his career and stated Lance Armstrong did likewise. The International Olympic Committee was considering stripping Hamilton of his medal, but the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced on Friday he had already surrendered the medal.
“The IOC has been in touch with USADA, which indicated that the athlete has already rendered his gold medal - Athens 2004 time-trial race - and that they are currently pursuing an inquiry,” stated IOC spokeswoman Emmanuelle Moreau, the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) reports.
Regarding the use of the banned performance-enhancing drug erythropoietin (EPO), Hamilton admitted using it and claimed Armstrong did, as well. “I saw him inject it more than one time like we all did, like I did many, many times,” according to CBS News.
Hamilton’s confession comes after Floyd Landis was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title over doping charges. Landis claimed just last year he and Armstrong were part of systematic doping while teammates on the US Postal Service racing team.
Armstrong, winner of seven consecutive Tour de France titles, is facing a federal investigation related to performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). Sources close to the investigation, speaking on the condition of anonymity, say Armstrong could face charges of fraud and conspiracy related to an alleged doping program. “This is about corruption to the core,” the source said, according to SMH.
Participating in the Armstrong investigation is the Internal Revenue Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI, the FDA and the Department of Justice, SMH reports.
Mark Fabiani, Armstrong’s attorney, has been critical of investigators, claiming they are leaking “self-serving information” and wasting taxpayer dollars. “Persistent, inaccurate leaks can't change the facts: This inquiry has been going on for a year now, and the only result has been an enormous waste of taxpayer dollars and diversion of prosecutorial resources,” he said, USA Today reports.
Armstrong, a recovering victim of cancer, has repeatedly denied using PEDs and has passed numerous drug tests.
Critics of federal government investigations of athletes abound. Among them, US Rep. Jack Kingston, R-GA, commented on the recent Barry Bonds trial, which resulted in a hung jury: “What bothers me is that you've got a very powerful federal government that has the money and time and resources to ruin someone's reputation,” according to USA Today.
The Hamilton interview will be aired on “60 Minutes” Sunday evening.
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