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Hamilton doubtful of Armstrong's 'truth' in new documentary

Joe Robinson
27 May 2020

Former teammate would 'love to see more of the truth' around the sport's dark past

The new ESPN two-part 30 for 30 documentary on Lance Armstrong is being touted as the replacement for the excellent 'The Last Dance' 10-part series on Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls that recently came to a conclusion.

However, if it is unprecedented access and untold truths around Armstrong and his murky career that you are after, you may be left disappointed. Or at least that is the opinion of one of the American's former top teammates.

Tyler Hamilton appeared as a guest on the Off the Ball podcast after the first part of the LANCE documentary was released over the weekend.

While the former seven-time Tour de France winner vowed to tell the 'truth' and 'not to lie to you' regarding his doping past in cycling, Hamilton pointed out that both Armstrong and others from the era have only given 'half-truths' as to what actually went on.

'When you tell the whole truth there are consequences. There are plenty of consequences for telling a half-truth, but you might be able to stay in the sport. When you tell the full truth like me, you're out,' explained Hamilton.

'There are so many freaking half-truths out there, like, "I doped from here to here then stopped." There’s a lot of that.

'I'd love to see more of the truth. The whats, the whys, the how - all that. Not anything against Lance but for the future of cycling, for the younger generations of the sport. I don't think we've seen enough of the past from him or from a lot of individuals.'

Hamilton stressed that this honesty from riders of the past, not just Armstrong, would act as a way of ensuring the same mistakes are not made in the future.

Hamilton, now 49, rode as one of Armstrong's key mountain domestiques at the US Postal team between 1998 and 2002 before moving to the CSC team to pursue his own Grand Tour ambitions.

The American was banned for blood doping and was stripped of his 2004 Olympic gold medal. A second doping positive saw Hamilton then receive an eight-year ban, ending his career.

In retirement, Hamilton then wrote his autobiography 'The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs' widely regarded as one of the most honest accounts of the early 2000s EPO-era.

The first part of the LANCE documentary aired on Monday 25th May on ESPN with the second part set for release on Monday 1st June.

So far, the biggest revelation from the first part of the LANCE documentary was that he admitted to first doping at the age of 21, taking cortisones in his first professional season in 1992.

In what he called 'low-octane doping', Armstrong said that he did not move onto using EPO and human growth hormone until later and that he first started working with Dr Michele Ferrari in 1995.

He also added that he was 'unsure' whether doping had led to him developing testicular cancer in 1996.

If you are after watching the documentary, ESPN offers a seven-day free trial with the subscription then costing £9.99 per month or £69.99 a year. Both can be opted out of at any time.