(RxWiki News) Olympic gold medalist, Tyler Hamilton, says he took performance-enhancing drugs with his teammate and seven-time Tour de France winner, Lance Armstrong.
During a CBS "60 Minutes" interview, Hamilton says he saw Armstrong inject EPO, a blood-boosting drug during the 1999 Tour and before the races in 2000 and 2001. Armstrong won every Tour de France from 1999-2005.
"I saw (EPO) in his refrigerator. ... I saw him inject it more than one time," Hamilton said during the interview that was aired on the "CBS Evening News" on Thursday, "like we all did. Like I did, many, many times."
In response to the fresh allegations, Armstrong tweeted, "20+ year career. 500 drug controls worldwide, in and out of competition. Never a failed test. I rest my case."
After making the allegations, Hamilton turned in his 2004 Olympic gold medal to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
Armstrong's lawyer, Mark Fabiani calls the allegations a publicity stunt, saying that 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," Fabiani said in a statement.
Hamilton won a gold medal for cycling at the 2004 Athens Games. He later failed a drug test, but was allowed to keep his medal because problems at a laboratory meant his backup ‘B' sample could not be tested.
EPO is erythropoietin, a naturally occuring hormone in the body produced by the kidneys and liver. Its purpose is to promote the synthesis of red blood cells in response to the body being deoxygeneated. Synthetic EPO has been in use for a while, with the drug given to patients who are anemic from kidney disease or cancer.
It is regarded as a performance-enhancing drug in athletic circles because when a healthy person uses EPO, their body will produce more red blood cells than they would naturally produce, giving them an increased oxygen carrying capacity. This can allow greater aerobic performance.
The full interview will air on "60 Minutes" on Sunday, May 22, 2011