Top Riders Confirm Hamilton's Story

Frankie Andreu and George Hincapie have reportedly joined Hamilton in confirming Armstrong's doping.

SOLVANG, Calif. (VN) ─ Former Lance Armstrong teammate Frankie Andreu spoke out in support of Tyler Hamilton and George Hincapie Friday afternoon, following news reports that both have testified to federal authorities about their former teammate’s use of performance-enhancing drugs.

After reports surfaced that Hincapie’s grand jury testimony implicating Armstrong in doping activities would appear alongside Hamilton’s confession on CBS’ 60 Minutes, Andreu told VeloNews that Hincapie was the most trustworthy rider in the sport and that his thoughts were with Hamilton.

According to reports from CBS News, the number of former U.S. Postal riders testifying against the seven-time Tour de France champion is piling up. Andreu, a teammate and confidant of Armstrong’s at Motorola and U.S. Postal between 1992 and 2000 — and during his battle with cancer while both were employed by Cofidis — stood behind Hamilton and Hincapie Friday.

When asked about Hincapie, with whom he rode on the national team and professionally for much of his career, Andreu said, “You can’t find a nicer guy, a more trustworthy guy, a more respected person in the peloton. Lance has ripped apart, attacked and shredded anybody that’s said anything against him. I don’t know that that would work against George. Lance has even called him ‘a stand-up guy.’”

Hincapie is one of the most respected riders in the pro peloton. I can't imagine Armstrong continuing to stick to his story for much longer.

It's worth repeating here that I'm honestly kind of ambivalent about doping. The real crime is the lie, and that could be Lance's biggest flaw. Sports fans will forgive cheating if the athlete is honest and repentant about it (see David Millar, for example). But it's the lie that destroys them. It ruined Floyd Landis and it's ruining Barry Bonds.

UPDATE: Here's the piece about George Hincapie. CBS News says that Hincapie testified that he and Lance supplied each other with EPO and testosterone.

George Hincapie, one of Lance Armstrong’s closest friends during their time together at the U.S. Postal Service and Discovery Channel teams and the only member of all seven of Armstrong’s Tour de France-winning squads, testified before a federal grand jury that he and Armstrong had supplied one another with EPO and testosterone, CBS News reported Friday afternoon.

According to CBS News, Hincapie testified that he and Armstrong supplied each other with EPO and discussed having used testosterone to prepare for races.