Armstrong stripped of Olympic medal
London – Lance Armstrong has been stripped of his 2000 Olympic Games cycling time-trial bronze medal by the International Olympic Committee, continuing his spectacular fall from grace after a doping storm.
“We have written asking for the return of the medal from the Sydney 2000 Games,” an IOC official told Reuters today after the decision to take away the last major title won by the disgraced American.
The retired Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life by the International Cycling Union (UCI) in October after several riders testified that he took drugs.
The testimony came in a United States Anti-Doping Agency (Usada) report in which the 41-year-old’s former US Postal team was accused of running “the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping program that sport has ever seen”.
Armstrong, a cancer survivor who founded the Livestrong Foundation, has always denied wrongdoing but is due to be seen on US television later today, with reports saying he has confessed to taking banned substances.
The 2000 bronze was the only Olympic medal Armstrong ever claimed, despite dominating cycling by winning the Tour from 1999 to 2005.
He retired for a second time in 2011.
The IOC had been preparing to make a move for the medal for months but decided at its executive board meeting in December to wait for the UCI to inform the athlete of the titles taken from him and give him the right to appeal.
“Following the recent decisions of Usada and the UCI regarding the competitive cycling results of Lance Armstrong, the IOC has disqualified Armstrong from the events in which he competed at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games,” the IOC said in a statement.
“Namely, the men’s individual road race, where he finished 13th, and the men’s individual time trial, where he finished 3rd and was awarded with a bronze medal and a certificate.”
The IOC has asked Armstrong to return the medal and certificate to the United States Olympic Committee, which should send them on to the Olympic ruling body.
“The decision was taken, in principle, at the IOC Executive Board meeting in December, but its implementation required the expiration of the appeal deadline,” the IOC said.