A FATAL MISTAKE?: Lance Armstrong's Confrontation With Tyler Hamilton Could Be Witness Tampering

Lance Armstrong tyler hamiltonArmstrong and Hamilton in happier days.

Photo: AP

Tyler Hamilton’s lawyers have notified federal authorities about an incident between their client and Lance Armstrong that they described as “aggressive contact.”Any attempt by the cyclist to intimidate or even contact a potential witness in a potential criminal trial, could be considered witness tampering.

Hamilton testified before a grand jury investigating doping allegations against Lance Armstrong. If a case goes to trial, he’ll almost certainly be the star witness for the prosecution.

It’s up to prosecutors to decide if they want to investigate this particular incident further, but Armstrong may have just opened himself up to a very serious charge – one completely unrelated any drug or fraud charges.

In fact, this may have been Armstrong biggest mistake of all. Even if prosecutors find themselves unable to indict him on a drug charge, they could still nail Armstrong for obstruction of justice.

Just like they did with Barry Bonds, who they weren’t able to convict of perjury (or anything else.)

At the very least, Armstrong may have forced prosecutors to bring him in for questioning, or worse, force him to testify before the grand jury, a circumstance he’s thus far avoided. It could also eliminate any statute of limitations issues by bringing the entire case into the present day.

Back to the incident: Hamilton says he was at a restaurant in Aspen, Colorado, on Saturday, when Armstrong stopped on the way back from the bathroom. Armstrong has a home in Aspen and frequents the restaurant often, but Hamilton did not know he would be there. Hamilton lives in Boulder.

Hamilton’s lawyer says Armstrong repeatedly asked Hamilton how much he had been paid to do an interview with “60 Minutes,” and added that his legal team would “(expletive) destroy you,” “tear you apart on the witness stand,” and “make your life a living (expletive) hell.”

Armstrong disputes that version of events and the owner of the restaurant – who is a friend of Armstrong’s – says the confrontation was not hostile. She also says Hamilton was asked never to come back, not because of Armstrong, but because Hamilton was “rude” and didn’t tip.

Hamilton says there was a dispute with the bill that was taken care of before he left.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.