It’s been a busy week around here for my book that came out last month, The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France – Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs, co-authored with former Postal rider Tyler Hamilton.
It’s basically the inside story of what some are now calling the biggest fraud in the history of American sports. The world they lived in was half James Bond, half Sopranos, and half All the President’s Men. Okay, that’s three halves. But you get the idea.
The big news is that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency just released its 1,000-page report detailing its case against Armstrong. Twenty-six people gave testimony, including eleven former Armstrong teammates (including Tyler, of course.)
You might think the USADA report would by dry-dust reading, but it’s precisely the opposite. It’s kind of amazing. It’s filled with telling details, stranger-than-fiction anecdotes (like when Armstrong wanted an illegal cortisone pill and two teammates, rather than disappoint their demanding boss, shaved down an asprin and gave it to him as a placebo), and an irrefutable stack of hard scientific and financial evidence. Reading the report, you can’t help but feel a mix of horror and deep empathy for the riders — and you can’t help but wonder what you would have done in their place.
If you’re interested in a taste, here’s a Cliff’s Notes version from Outside magazine. And, for the more ambitious among you, here’s the whole report: including a 200-page summary and the supporting materials (the affadavits are a good place to start).
I know it’s a sad story. But it’s also an important one — for the riders who are standing up and speaking out, for their families, and for their sport, which now has the chance to move forward. Like Tyler says, the truth will set you free. It sounds corny, I know. But man oh man, is it ever true.
PS – Tyler is going to be on Anderson Cooper 360 tonight (Friday) at 8:00 Eastern — tune in, or check TSR’s facebook page for more information.