Rock Center | October 25, 2012
>>> earlier, two women in lance armstrong 's inner circle tried to expose his sophisticated doping scheme for years but their stories were never widely heard. tonight, a former teammate of lance armstrong says they absolutely should have been. here once again is harry smith .
>> for the longest time, lance armstrong kept winning and winning. tyler hamilton raced with him and against him.
>> he and his brand just got bigger and bigger and bigger. he got so big and four full i thought this is -- it will never come down. the truth will never come out, the real truth.
>> tyler hamilton 's career was ruined by the use of performance-enhancing drugs. he tells all in a new book out this fall and implicates lance armstrong . the course of confessions that brought armstrong down started long ago with lone voices of two women , betsy andrew and emma o'reilly.
>> emma o'reilly, she was in the thick of it. she saw a lot of the things that were going on within the team. for her to come out, that was huge. for betsy andreu to keep fighting, she has never backed down from the power of the armstrong camp.
>> myself and betsy , we were kind of the unattractive face of cycling. the seven-time tour de france winner is much more attractive to look at rather than two women going, they are doping. what would you prefer to watch, the tour de france or two women saying there are drugs in cycling.
>> two crazy women .
>> two crazy women .
>> i prayed a lot. i prayed a lot. i have prayer cards to saint teresa that are tattered. i just wanted the truth out with god's blessing, just with god's blessing. i wanted the truth out because i was being ex core reeighted when i told the truth and two, there is a bigger picture here. this is huge in the history of sport . shouldn't it be revealed? shouldn't the truth be told? shouldn't the truth matter? it was rough.
>> there had to be days when it sure didn't seem like the truth mattered.
>> there were a lot of days. a lot of days. the reason why i told the truth were my kids. it was better for me to be vilified for telling the truth instead of celebrated for living a lie. so my kids can look and they can say, i'm proud of my mom.
>> without betsy and without emma o'reilly, i don't think we would be where we are today. the whole sport owes those two individuals a lot. they are champions. they are champions. they are heroes.
>> that is very nice. i would never probably in anything see myself as the pivotal role in much. now that the riders backed up my story, i see myself as less insane. you start thinking and question your judgment.
>> allegations kept lapping up against lance armstrong for the longest time. why didn't the worldcom to understand what you understood or what betsy andreu understood?
>> there is none so blind than those that don't want to see. people didn't want to see. also, the media around lance, they didn't want. they didn't help. they were quite happy to sit and write.
>> without a doubt, lance armstrong was a bonafide american hero and an international superstar .
>> it is a fairy tale which continues and continues and will continue because you won't keep this man out of the headlines once he stops riding his bike. he will find some other way in.
>> did the media fail?
>> do you think the media failed?
>> sure looks like it.
>> everybody wanted the interviews with lance. they didn't care about the other guys, really. they wanted the interviews with lance. so in order to get the interview with lance, you couldn't ask lance the hard questions.
>> and she made it personal.
>> you looking at me.
>> i am.
>> but you are redeeming yourself now, right?
>> see if there is atonement out there.
>> harry smith here with us.
>> first of all, lance armstrong is invited on this broadcast any time he wishes to sit down and talk about this. what did he say when we contacted him?
>> we've been talking to his people for days. they said, this is ancient news. said, the people we interviewed here on this broadcast have all been discredited. that was the word they used. oh, by the way, emma o'reilly was paid for her participation in this david walsh book. we asked emma about that today. she said, i did have long conversation with david walsh . i ended up as a researcher on the book i was paid a total of 5,000 pounds. that's about $10,000.
>> am i going out on a limb having just met these women through your story saying they seem to be absolutely spectacular people, each of them for their own reasons.
>> i think that goes without saying and for those of us who were around the story a lot and some of us did ask lance armstrong through the years, did you dope? his answer was always the same. i'm the most tested athlete in the history of my sport. look at the records. for a lot of us, that was enough. we chose not, i think, to go back to find the emmas and the betsys.
>> is that why you feel atonement, that you didn't ask a follow-up?
>> i won't ever be in the neighborhood of atonement but i think to be able to go back and let these women be heard and to see the price they paid for telling the stories they did and to witness their courage is important.
>> what an extraordinary story this continues to be. harry smith , thank you very much.
>> up next after a break, the road to the white house that leads straight through late night television these days.