Hamilton won an Olympic gold medal in the 2004 time trial and was a teammate of Lance Armstrong on the U.S. Postal Service team including riding with him the first three years (1999-2001) that Armstrong won the Tour de France.
But then a failed drug test caused him to lose it all. First a two-year suspension, then becoming (along with Floyd Landis) one of cycling's outcasts for his willingness to tell what he knew about cycling's doping culture.
His book, The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs, was the long-awaited story of life as a pro cyclist and promised to tell what it was like racing with Lance Armstrong and (presumably) revealing Armstrong's own doping activity that many had long suspected.
But then about a month after it came out, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency released all of the evidence that it had collected on Armstrong in the course of its investigation of the man. And suddenly Hamilton's book was an afterthought.
Nonetheless, Hamilton's book is worth reading for any cycling fan. You can learn about Hamilton's path to the top and what he claims Armstrong did, and of course, what life is like (not fun, apparently) as a pro cyclist. Just stay away from it if you want to hold out any illusion that your heroes in cycling in the 1990s and 2000s were all racing squeaky clean.
- Blood Doping in Professional Cycling
- EPO - Chemical Doping
- Steroid Abuse in Professional Cycling
- UCI Strips Lance Armstrong of Seven Tour de France Wins
- U.S. Anti-Doping Agency Reveals Evidence Against Armstrong