Lance Armstrong’s former U.S. Postal Service teammate Tyler Hamilton, who raced with the disgraced cyclist for his first three Tour de France wins, was happy to see Armstrong come clean during his two-night bombshell sitdown with Oprah.
Hamilton, who admitted to using performance enhancing drugs two years ago, told Access Hollywood the interview felt “surreal.”
”[I] thought to myself, ‘I cannot believe this is happening.’ And I could see before he said a word, just in his body language, in his face, in his eyes really, that he was a broken man,” Hamilton said of his former teammate. “He’s destroyed, and it’s not fun to see that.”
Hamilton, who wrote the book " The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs,” said he was not sure why Armstrong decided to come forward now.
“Just a few weeks before, it seemed like his head was in a totally different space. And for whatever reason, he’s come forward and that’s good. And the way I look at it is doesn’t matter what the reason was, its good he took that first step. It’s a positive step. He admitted to taking performance enhancing drugs for all seven Tour de France’s, that’s a huge burden that he’s gotten off his back,” he continued.
Though Armstrong has admitted to doping, Hamilton believes his former teammate still has much more work to do.
“The next step, which is not in the public eye, it’s behind closed doors, in front of Travis Tygart, the head of USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) and he needs to tell the whole truth. Everything, every question Travis asks, he needs to answer to the best of his abilities. Starting from day one, who introduced him that first time… to doping products, who was it? If that person can’t come forward themselves and tell the truth…Lance is going to have to out them,” he told Access. “It’s going to be good for Lance, it’s going to be good for his family and it’s going to good for the sport of cycling.”
Hamilton also believes that Armstrong might not fully be aware of the extent and magnitude of the lies he spun over the years.
“It’s a process. I don’t think he’s 100 percent realized what he’s done. I think that’s going to come over time. I’m still realizing what I have done,” he added. “I’m pulling for the guy. And I’m really excited to see his progress. He is a fighter, it was nice to see him admitting like ‘I’m flawed.’…he’s working through his issues, that’s great.”
-- Jesse Spero