The Man from Marblehead comes clean

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Yes, the man has come clean. Well, as much as he could, I suppose, in his present situation. There are those that will never believe him, or believe in him, again.

But, I believe in him more now than perhaps I ever have.

He recently sent a letter out to folks taking ownership of the many falsehoods he’s trotted out over the years, and completely admitted to doping. As one might expect, it’s already shown up on the internet.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have made a fair bit of sport of the man. (See Yeah. Kicking a man while he’s down is just too easy. So, I owe it to him, at minimum, to be clear in that I am impressed with his testimony to the grand jury, the letter he wrote, and the interview he gave. It took guts to do what he did. And, I respect him for it.

Dear Everybody,

I hope this finds you all doing well.

First of all, sorry for sending this out as a group letter. If there was any way I could come visit each of you individually, I would. I hope we are together soon.

There’s no easy way to say this, so let me just say it plain: on Sunday night you’ll see me on “60 Minutes” making a confession that’s overdue. Long overdue.

During my cycling career, I knowingly broke the rules. I used performance-enhancing drugs. I lied about it, over and over. Worst of all, I hurt people I care about. And while there are reasons for what I did — reasons I hope you’ll understand better after watching — it doesn’t excuse the fact that I did it all, and there’s no way on earth to undo it.

The question most people ask is, why now? There are two reasons. The first has to do with the federal investigation into cycling. Last summer, I received a subpoena to testify before a grand jury. Until that moment I walked into the courtroom, I hadn’t told a soul. My testimony went on for six hours. For me, it was like the Hoover dam breaking. I opened up; I told the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. And I felt a sense of relief I’d never felt before — all the secrets, all the weight I’d been carrying around for years suddenly lifted. I saw that, for me personally, this was the way forward.

The second reason has to do with the sport I love. In order to truly reform, cycling needs to change, and change drastically, starting from the top. Now that I’m working as a coach, I see young people entering the sport with hopes of making it to the top. I believe that no one coming into the sport should have to face the difficult choices I had to make. And before the sport can move forward, it has to face the truth.

This hasn’t been easy, not by a long shot. But I want to let you know that I’m doing well. The coaching business is more fun and fulfilling than I’d ever imagined, and Tanker and I are loving our Boulder life. I recently turned 40, and my friends threw the best 80’s themed surprise party in the history of the world (hey, most of you were there!). Life is good.

Again, I just want to say I’m sorry, and that I hope you can forgive me. What matters to me most are my family and friends. I’m deeply grateful for all your support and love through the years, and I’m looking forward to spending time with all of you again, hopefully soon. My Mom and Dad always told me that the truth would set me free. I never knew how right they were.


Tyler Hamilton


The letter also appeared on Cycingnews: Tyler Hamilton’s letter of confession.

The original CBS story is here: Ex-Teammate: I saw Lance Armstrong use EPO. Velonews has a piece up on the interview here: Tyler Hamilton tells 60 Minutes he saw Armstrong inject EPO. Another good article at Science of Sport: Tyler Hamilton: Confessor and witness. Video embedded below:

And so it goes…

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About big jonny

The man, the legend. The guy who started it all back in the Year of Our Lord Beer, 2000, with a couple of pages worth of idiotic ranting hardcoded on some random porn site that would host anything you uploaded, a book called HTML for Dummies (which was completely appropriate), a bad attitude (which hasn’t much changed), and a Dell desktop running Win95 with 64 mgs of ram and a six gig hard drive. Those were the days. Then he went to law school. Go figure. Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

68 Replies to “The Man from Marblehead comes clean”

  1. This may piss people off but,

    Good on him!

    I’ve always liked Tyler Hamilton & definately, this time,

    “I believe Tyler”

  2. but first we’ll have to endure some more righteous indignation: “trolls. little fucking goddamn trolls.”

    from Lance Armstrong’s War, page 6.

  3. If only he had come out with it in 2004, when he first tested positive. Well, better late than never.

    Back in 2007, a former CU Boulder teammate of Tyler’s wrote an article about his comeback to racing. In it, she reveals a possible motivation for why he might have wanted to protect his reputation and continue to deny. It’s one of the better articles I have read. I can’t find it on the Bicycling site anymore, but if you google it is in their book section (starts on page 78)

  4. thanks Dave K…that is a good read…read it…every word…we all wanted to believe…once upon a time

  5. Call it a strange personality trait of mine, but I always find myself a fan of the guy who is the worker rather than the star. Seeing a couple of workers (American workers at that!) rise from US Postal to lead their own teams was inspiring to me…both Tyler and Floyd proved their mettle and were duly rewarded…and I was a fan. And MAN did I want to believe in their innocence. Now, with all that has transgressed…I am still a fan of theirs.

    The wind is blowing, and Lance’s house of cards ain’t gonna stand much more…

  6. LA is just holding on long enough for tomorrow’s rapture when he “knows” Heaven awaits him.

    Me ? I’m burning in Hell fer sure. I want too. It’s where all my friends and most of my family are.

  7. I find it ironic to see LA’s mug in the margin advertising FRS on the site

  8. Armstrong has already chimed in …..

    Lance Armstrong
    20+ year career. 500 drug controls worldwide, in and out of competition. Never a failed test. I rest my case.

    Harder fall from way the hell up there.

  9. I kind of feel like this pre-rapture confession is sort of like Mcgwire’s confession: everyone already knew. Way to be well behind the times.

    That said, good for him for finally showing up to the confession party. I really liked Tyler Hamilton back in the day, so when it came out that he doped, it was a huge disappointment for me. Glad he confessed, but man, I don’t think these guys have any idea how big of a deal this is for so many fans. Sort of like the CEOs of companies going on record to say they “feel the pain” of Americans. No, you fucking don’t. Not by a long shot.

  10. Tyler’s in it for the cash this time, not his own mental well being. It’s like Dennis Miller said years ago, “…nobody finds Jesus on prom night, it’s only when they’ve fucked up so bad that no one will talk to them…”.

    Fuck Tyler, Fuck Floyd, Fuck Frankie, Fuck Lance! Not necessarily in that order…

  11. @MM – such anger, do you even like cycling? People make mistakes, cheating is human nature and not everyone is able to resist. If you have ever run a red light or been selective about numbers on your income tax filing or not spoken up when you got something for free that you should not have give these guys a break. No need to worship them but lighten up on the hate.

  12. Lance can claim that he never tested positive all he wants, but at least two positive tests are already known: 1 definite that was excused, and 1 alleged that was buried with money. On top of that, there was his irregular behavior during an out of competition control a couple of years back. Behavior that would’ve resulted in disciplinary action for practically anyone else.

    Sometimes, all you can do is laugh.

  13. I think Lance’s tweet uses some interesting phraseology.
    Lance Armstrong
    20+ year career. 500 drug controls worldwide, in and out of competition. Never a failed test. I rest my case.”

    In a nutshell, he doesn’t say he didn’t dope, he says he never got caught. I might be overthinking words, but to me, he is constructing an argument that will be read as much more of a denial than it actually is. This has been his methodology for a couple years now; pointing to the number of tests he passes rather than necessarily denying the act. The cheats and their doctors will always be a step or two ahead of the doping cops, and it looks like it may be that way in the investigation field, too.

  14. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So there was no ‘twin in the womb?’ What, I don’t believe it! Classic.
    Why does it seem like the Euro-pros get busted and cry, “Forgive me! forgive me! I have sinned and lied and on the Grave of the Holy Saint Stanislaus Kostka I admit I took drugs!!! PLEASE FORGIVE ME!” while the American-pros seem to cook-up the craziest lies and stick to deny, deny, deny until someone with a check book or a publishing company starts asking questions?
    So American-pros started having success and now we see it all was a pharmaceutical phenomenon instead of God creating some kind of a new Super human that was created by excessive amounts of McDonalds at an early age.
    So here’s the question. Was it the advancement of the American pharmaceutical companies and their drugs that moved cycling to a higher layer of the stratosphere or was it the amount of American marketing money that propelled these boys to obtain more and better drugs and to be ‘coached’ by more sophisticated ‘trainers?’
    To many Europeans, Greg LeMond was the only American to ever ‘win’ the Tour de France. . . and I think many of them know what they’ve been talking about all along.

  15. Still. He pulled off 7 in a row.

    And since they all doped, I’m not really seeing the big deal. The endless Euro-trash are just pissed that our drug addicts were better than their drug addicts.

    Ignore the old shit and just get more serious about testing/banning now and move the fuck on.

  16. Richard Virenque said, essentially, that it’s not doping if you don’t get caught.

    It would seem that ideology survives. At least as far as Mr. Armstrong is concerned.

  17. I say have an ‘open category’ where everything goes… and pick the bodies up where they lay. Maybe that would be the best deterrent.

  18. @ Martin. Yep, I love cycling, likely for a lot longer than you have. Right when all of the silt is starting to settle to the bottom, one of these douchebags comes out of the woodwork for little more than a paycheck and some air time.
    NONE of them had issues with the dope they were taking when the gravy train was dropping of bags of cash at their doors. Now, after Tyler has exhausted all legal avenues, all of his BS excuses, and all of his cash, he’s on 60 Minutes raking the muck once again. And of course, Floyd had to put in his .02 cents. As I type this, I’m quite sure that LeMond is strutting around his house, trying to formulate his own response to Tyler’s claims. Strange that Frankie has been quiet as well…
    It’s simple human nature. People just cannot be happy, for themselves, or others who have more. Cycling is going along swimmingly, then the saddle sores of the cycling world pop up to be a pain in the ass. It’s the same in every other sport, or vocation, on the planet.
    The most successful sales guy is always a prick, and is subject to the whispers and hatred of his office mates.
    The mediocre don’t like winners. It’s always been that way, and will likely never change.
    Do I think LA doped? Of course! Do I care? Not really. It made for entertaining TV.
    History has proven that the people will sit and watch men kill each other for sport. Gladiators, chariot races, boxing, football, UFC, cycling…kinda all the same at the base level.

  19. MM – the problem with that logic is that even if we accept that the likes of Hamilton, Landis, and Lemond are motivated to speak for the money, does it follow that the substance of what they are communicating is false? Why combine the concepts of “payment” and “lie”?

  20. What, now Tyler is telling the truth when he says he lied? Anyone else perceive a conundrum here?

  21. Really Big J? Is it so flawed? Rumor has it that Tyler received in the VERY high 6 figures for his interview, and is drumming up publicity for the tell-all book he is currently working on? There’s no motivation other than the money. Tyler and Floyd don’t give a shit about cleaning up the sport. The fact that they say they do is just another lie in the series.
    Tyler got popped twice, and has worn out all of his excuses, and is ostensibly banned for life. Now there’s contrition? Please…
    It’s like the girls we all knew in college who were drunk, knob-gobbling whores, but are now married and only talk about their church.

    Again, I don’t really give a good god-damn is LA doped. Hell, Merckx doped, and got popped, yet everyone prays at the altar of Eddy every time they ride.

  22. Lots of incriminating information coming from former close associates of Lance Armstrong. The real question is why are millions of taxpayer dollars being spent on sports related investigations of Armstrong, Bonds, Clemens, etc? This should be handled within the respective sports associations.

  23. Here in the North-West USA it’s been raining since last September.

    LA is one brain cell away from being pulled from that closet of his.

    And tomorrow is Rapture Day.

    The end is nigh I’m telling you. The end is nigh.


  24. Damn. It took out my ending. Bastards.

    “Insert maniacal laugh here” was tween those thingies.

    Ruined again.

  25. Speaking from Saturday 21/05/2011 @ 8:57AM…

    So far it’s been a pretty nice day, Sunny & mild with nary a hint of the looming Apocolypse.

    I think I’ll go for a ride while I wait…

  26. bgw interviews lance armstrong in hell in the year 2060

    bgw“welcome amigo…i knew you’d make it”

    LA“yah, me too…doesn’t take too much of a stretch of the imagination”

    bgw“hey, no worries, eh ???…eddy’s here, lotta the guys you know are around including ‘el pistolero’ after that ugly training ‘accident’ where he run over by 14 spanish beef farmers…carmichael’s here somewhere…he’s loading rocks into backpacks & tuning up the schwinn varsitys for tomorrows ride”

    LA“…can i…???”

    bgw“oh, ya, ya, you’re invited…we all go…down here, cycling is looked at as a hell of a way to have ‘fun’…it’ll be a devil of a ride”

    LA“i’ve, ummm, got a few things i need to get off my chest…”

    bgw“whoa, lance, easy boy…you might be new here but you’re a 7 time tour de france winner…man up, amigo & we’ll get to the confession stuff later…eternity is a long damn time”

    LA“i only prevaricated so that millions wouldn’t lose faith in my message…umm…”

    bgw“hey, we got it, big guy…we’ve heard it ALL down here, ya ???…should a’ heard torquemada, but that’s another story…anyway, you were a master at selective phraseology…while it looked like you were addressing issues straight on, you were side stepping so well, we though you’d be invited to be on ‘dancing with the stars’…

    …now, ironically, you’re ‘dancing with the devil’…”

    LA“my mom said nobody else could a’ done what…”..

    bgw“whoa, again, bud…let’s not get into ‘moms’ & that ‘messiah’ thing, especially down here, ya ???…we all had good moms but remember your host…fire n’ brimstone, lord of darkness, all that shit…

    …look…you were an awesome fucking racing cyclist, no doubt…determined like a motherfucker & to be truthful, enhancement, supplements, drugs, call ’em what you will, aren’t gonna do shit if you’re not one of the best to begin with…you were that, amigo but hey, i’ll make it easy on ya…it was the era, okay ???…just go with that…

    …besides…your mom’s in heaven ‘cuz she was always looking out for you but to paraphrase keith & the stones (who you’ll meet later), you’re here at your satanic majesties request…like rest of us…”

    LA“i’m feeling a little warm & constricted right now…could i ???…”

    bgw“hey, i gotcha…tyler, this is lance…i think you guys have met…how about getting the newbie his last cool drink & i’ll have floyd show him to his bunk…

    …lance…nice to meet ‘cha…let’s talk later…”

  27. I don’t care. Shit, run whatcha brung. Everyone else does.

    And if Bourbon ain’t a performance enhancing drug, maybe you should find a new sport.

  28. Doping in sport sucks. Full stop. The immature suggestion that athletes be allowed to dope falls apart when looked at more closely. (this is somewhat @MM but others have raised that point too…)

    First — you have second-hand-doping — the medical fact that a clean athlete competing in a group of athletes taking PED’s will degrade and destroy their body to keep up with the pace/strength of the dirty competitors.

    Second – – if you consider future generations and the impact it has on them… If there is a kid who wants to win the Tour de France, or best the home run record, and those goals and achievements are set artificially, then the kid has to juice to set the record? To win the race? Fuck that..

    Falls apart….

    For me sport is sacrosanct. There is nothing that unites people, that cuts across lines of culture, borders of geography, and religion and and and… nothing like sport. And bicycle racing is the ultimate (for me) expression of sport… the ultimate marriage of man and machine.

    If I am playing checkers, or basket ball, or whatever – I want to win. I’m human. I want to kick your ass… And I will celebrate if I kick your ass. But when beaten — fairly and nobly — I will celebrate for the victor. It’s honor. It’s fun. It’s right.


  29. …so is this ***RAPTURE*** thingy like a rolling blackout…

    …starts at the international dateline & first we lose hurben (that’s a given), then pistol pete n’ response in asia (should a’ left those young hookers alone) with the euro bikepunk & expat-in-nl next (what’d you expect living in a culture based on beer) & then the whole fucking east coat (speaks for itself, huh, tyler, huh, joe papp ???) & on into the founding fathers of drunkcyclist (again, speaks for itself X 2 or 3 or 4)…

    …me ???…i’m gonna head out to the beach so i can be the last into zombieland…

    …nice knowin’ yas…

  30. SHIT People!

    It’s started, it’s gone all grey & rain is falling.

    (of course some people would say that that’s NZ in winter, but I’m going with the Rapture)

    I’m heading out to the garage to sink my final beers & talk to my Softrides, rehash all the glory/borey/gorey days with the stereo cranked up to 11.

    Go ahead, call Noise control, the fucking worlds ending, like they’d care.

    I should probably service my Giant so that if I survive I can go for a ride through the desolation tomorrow.

    It’s been a blast guys…

    I just hope that the turtles will be okay.

  31. George has just come out and said he and Lance were at it. How’s Fabiani going to discredit Georgie boy?

  32. What George twitters:

    I can confirm to you I never spoke with “60 Minutes.” I have no idea where they got their information.

  33. Like the way George parses the words. Of course he never talked to 60 Minutes. 60 Minutes doesn’t claim he did. CBS claims he told the Feds.

  34. You know, it just feels so good, like a giant weight has been lifted off your shoulders when you can finally admit to doping and finger your ex-teammates in an attempt to bring them down with you.

  35. And Contador is just crushing the competition right now. Have ya’ll been watching him just kill those guys? He isn’t even in top form yet!!! Can’t wait to see what comes of the Tour this year.

  36. Please allow me to call bullshit on the whole, “since they all doped, I’m not really seeing the big deal” argument. What crap. Sure, the podium was juiced, but what about guys like Voeckler and the post-Festina Moreau? The caliber of riders who could hang with the best most of the time, and occasionally win, but lacked the juice to do it every single day. There’s a whole lot of evidence that a lot of very good riders didn’t dope, and paid the price for their honesty decency. Did Lance steal a jersey from Ullrich? No. Did he steal one from Tommy V? Fuckin’ A.

  37. People,

    breath easy. it’s 17:10 & all is good.

    Had a great time in my garage & my vegetable patch.

    If the **RAPTURE** is going to happen, it’s not happening today.

    Damn it, back to working out my taxes.

  38. Did anyone catch this on the ToC coverage yesterday? Phil and Paul talked about Tyler’s confession, but failed to mention the little part about their boy LA. Curious to see how they will handle Georges confession.

  39. Looks like Tyler wasn’t lying, because he’s getting backed up by the testimony given by Hincapie within the grand jury. And here’s the thing. Nobody is going to lie to a grand jury, because if you do, off to Federal Pound Me In The Ass Prison for you, and guys like George and Tyler? Ain’t gonna do well in the slammer.

    That being said, is anyone surprised?

    Lance can talk about passing all the tests he wants to, even though he failed a few, but those were dismissed or ignored. Lots of other folks passed testing too, and then came out and said they doped. Quite a bit they doped. Look at Millar, Landis, Tyler, and so on and so forth. The names just keep rolling Basso. Virenque, Pantani, those guys never tested positive either, but is there any doubt they all doped? Hell no.

    Lance, I hear your empire crashing down.

  40. im not even going to read the 62 responses.

    seriously… fuck that.

    IMHO, too little, too late but he should focus on what HE did, and not try to implicate others at this point. It just looks like sour grapes because he got caught.

    What’s interesting is if the feds investigate Lance for this because he was sponsored by Postal, which is an arm of the US Gov’t, thereby using federal funds to break international law…
    Now THAT would be interesting…

    but again, it’s the rapture and I’m drinkin.

  41. I say Alberto should just say, fuck it, and win all three grand tours this year. If he has enough of a time gap, say eight hours, can he sit out the final stage?

  42. …there’s evidence that ***the rapture*** actually occurred but it turns out only three people were truly righteous enough to be drawn up to heaven…

    …everybody else who expected to go, didn’t & why was that ???…hypocrites…each & every last one of those self righteous, “…praise be to god…”, bible quoting, disingenuous motherfuckers were hypocrites…

    …no place in heaven for ’em…

    …& the zombies, the undead ???…gonna walk the earth & feast on the flesh of the living ???…turns out they just didn’t give a damn…

    …next – it’s the mayan calender in 2012…another “***end of the world***’ deal…

  43. For the first time ever, I am prepared to say “I Believe Tyler.” Now if I could just get hold of some of those old buttons and t-shirts, I could make a killing.

  44. The professional entertainers continue to entertain the shit out of us huh? Remember, ultimately it’s all in the name of good entertainment. Those that really want to entertain, know what they have to do to be the best among the entertainers. They also know they will be more rewarded for being more entertaining. Keep up the good work boys, it’s all very entertaining!