While the request formally is from his attorneys, Lance Armstrong is demanding an on-air apology from “60 Minutes.” In their May 22 broadcast, “60 Minutes“ asserted that Armstrong had tested positive for the blood-booster EPO during the 2001 Tour de Suisse.
Relying in part on information from Armstrong’s former teammate, Tyler Hamilton, “60 Minutes” claimed that International Cycling Union officials helped Armstrong cover up a positive test result in 2001, and then brokered a meeting involving Armstrong and Martial Saugy’s World Anti-Doping Agency-accredited lab, as they were responsible for testing the samples from the Swiss race.
Saugy denied the allegations of a positive test last week. He did state that he met with Armstrong and the former U.S. Postal Team manager, Johan Bruyneel. However, the meeting was not in Lausanne, as Hamilton had claimed, and the purpose of the meeting had nothing to do with a suspicious test result according to Saugy.
Armstrong’s lawer, Elliot Peters, sent a letter to CBS News Chairman and “60 Minutes” executive producer Jeff Fager on Wednesday. He stated: “In the cold light of morning your story was either extraordinarily shoddy, to the point of being reckless and unprofessional, or a vicious hit-and-run job. In either case, a categorical on-air apology is required.”
“What is particularly disturbing,” Peters continued, “is that ’60 Minutes’ had access to the true facts, could easily have verified them, and apparently chose instead to broadcast untruths and then layer innuendo on top of the falsehoods.”
Kevin Tedesco, a CBS News spokesman, stated he is unable to comment on the letter at this time, but did offer “we consider this the most thorough investigation into doping in the sport of cycling ever done.”
Armstrong maintains he has never used or tested positive for performance enhancing drugs.