The International Cycling Union denied allegations by Tyler Hamilton that it helped cover up Lance Armstrong’s test results at the 2001 Tour de Suisse.
“The UCI is deeply shocked by the seriousness of the allegations made on the ‘60 Minutes’ program aired by U.S. television network CBS,” the organization said in a statement Monday. “The allegations of Mr. Tyler Hamilton are completely unfounded.”
Hamilton, Armstrong’s former teammate with the United States Postal Service team, said that Armstrong used erythropoietin (EPO), a hormone that boosts red-blood cell production, to prepare for the Tour and that the UCI helped cover up a suspicious test result. Armstrong has disputed the report.
“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,” the statement said.
Hamilton told “60 Minutes” that he and the USPS team used EPO and other prohibited substances, saying that the UCI helped arrange a meeting between Armstrong and the laboratory that tested the Swiss samples.
“There has never, ever been a cover-up. Not in the Tour de Suisse, not in the Tour de France,” Hein Verbruggen, whose 14 years as head of the UCI ended in 2005, told the Associated Press. “I don’t know anything about suspicious tests. I was not aware of that.”
The UCI denied that the idea that Armstrong made monetary contributions in exchange for a coverup. He donated $25,000 in 2002 to anti-doping program and $100,000 in 2005 to purchase a machine to analyze blood.
Nike on allegations and Livestrong: “Our relationship is as strong as ever.”
Scott Pelley on interviewing Tyler Hamilton: “It was a painful interview for him and a little bit painful for me as well.”