Hamilton took the unusual position when our our photog bumped into him yesterday in Malibu ... saying he believes that if everyone is cheating in a sport, then it's "still an even playing field, it's still the best guy wins."
Hamilton also said he thinks the public coming down on athletes who are found to be cheating isn't right, saying, "I think it's a little bit of hypocrisy that we think these athletes are sterile people that are eating dry toast and then they're performing at these high levels. Rocket ships need rocket fuel to go to space. Athletes need the fuel they need to do what they need to do and let's be realistic about that."
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency hit Armstrong with a lifetime ban yesterday and stripped him of his seven Tour de France titles after concluding he used performance-enhancing drugs. Armstrong maintains his innocence.