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Lance Armstrong still lying - Tyler Hamilton

SAMANTHA LANE
Last updated 08:21 21/01/2013
Tyler Hamilton
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TYLER HAMILTON: Paid US$40,000 for doping services to the doctor at the heart of the Operation Puerto scandal.

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Tyler Hamilton, the retired cyclist who exposed Lance Armstrong as a doper in 2011, says his former teammate is still lying about testing positive at a race in 2001 and claims the Union Cycliste Internationale covered up the result.

Armstrong's insistence last week that he never tested positive - even when he was doping - and that the UCI didn't help bury incriminating evidence at the Tour of Switzerland 12 years ago, are two of many denials being challenged by people with first-hand knowledge.

The UCI has trumpeted Armstrong's denials, with president Pat McQuaid stating on Friday the organisation had been absolved of any ''collusion or conspiracy'' on the basis of Armstrong's statements.

There is evidence Armstrong tested positive in 2001 and the UCI played a role in covering up the result. In an affidavit to the US Anti-Doping Agency, Hamilton outlines how Armstrong informed him he'd tested positive at the Tour of Switzerland and his understanding that ''his [Armstrong's] people had been in touch with the UCI, they were going to have a meeting and everything would be OK''.

Martial Saugy, then director of a Swiss drug testing laboratory, has also told USADA boss Travis Tygart he was ordered by the UCI to meet with Armstrong and team boss Johan Bruyneel to explain how to beat tests for blood booster EPO.

''If he didn't test positive then why did he tell me that morning?'' Hamilton said on Sunday.

''Dr Saugy ... he met with Johan Bruyneel and Lance Armstrong some time after the Tour of Switzerland and told them basically how to beat the EPO test. I'm not sure why he's [Armstrong] owning up to some things and not owning up to others.''

In his interview with Oprah Winfrey, Armstrong said of the 2001 Tour of Switzerland: ''That story isn't true. There was no positive test. There was no paying off of the lab. There was no secret meeting with the lab director.'' Asked whether the UCI made a positive test go away, Armstrong responded: ''No.''

Armstrong also strenuously denied he, or any of his representatives, offered USADA a donation of $US250,000 - a claim recently made by Tygart. But Tygart's predecessor, Terry Madden, confirmed on Sunday ''one of Lance Armstrong's closest representatives'' telephoned to offer between $US200,000 and $US250,000.

Madden said the Armstrong representative called Tygart, then USADA's general counsel, who came to Madden's office with the proposal. ''Ten seconds later, because of our ethics, I told Travis to turn it down,'' Madden said. ''We called back that representative and gave them our decision immediately.''

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Madden said he could not name the Armstrong representative because of a pending federal whistleblower lawsuit against the cyclist.

''It's very clear, we cannot accept gifts from people we're either currently testing or would be testing in the future,'' he said.

Asked why he thought Armstrong disputed the offer, Madden said: ''It's just another personal attack on Travis and USADA.''

Hamilton, speaking to Channel Nine, was contemptuous of Armstrong's description of his EPO use, which he said was ''not a lot''. ''Only a little EPO?'' Hamilton said. ''He could have owned that one a little bit better, that's for sure.''

Hamilton's affidavit to USADA says that in the 1999 Tour de France alone, he and Armstrong had injected EPO every three or four days.

- Sydney Morning Herald

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