Armstrong’s 2000 Olympic medal could be removed
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Thursday, November 01, 2012

Armstrong’s 2000 Olympic medal could be removed

by VeloNation Press at 9:40 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping, Olympics
 
IOC confirms investigation into Texan; could Ekimov and Ullrich also lose out?

Lance ArmstrongHaving already been disqualified from his other results since August 1998, Lance Armstrong may also lose out on the bronze medal he secured in the 2000 Olympic time trial. Although the IOC normally observes the eight year statute of limitations, the Olympic governing body has confirmed that it is moving on the matter.

“The IOC will now immediately start the process concerning the involvement of Lance Armstrong, other riders and particularly their entourages with respect to the Olympic Games and their future involvement with the Games,” an official from the IOC official told Reuters today.

Viacheslav Ekimov of Russia won the time trial in Sydney, beating Jan Ullrich (Germany) by eight seconds and Armstrong by 34.

Ullrich has admitted to doping during his own career, while Ekimov was a member of Armstrong’s US Postal Service team at the time. Their own medals seem likely to come under scrutiny, as could Ullrich’s win in the road race.

Last month USADA stripped Armstrong of his results since 1998 and said that it was waiving the statute of limitations as per its own rules. These state that if an athlete lies in order to cover up drug usage, that the normal eight year limit can be waived.

Armstrong gave sworn testimony in 2005 and denied ever using banned substances. This denial was cited by USADA as its leverage to strip results dating back fourteen years.

The UCI was expected by some to challenge the USADA ruling on this point, but instead it fully ratified the sanctions handed down.

It also stated that it would allow an independent commission to study the subject plus the UCI’s own behaviour during the period in question.

The unnamed IOC official said that this was a good development. “The IOC has taken note of the UCI’s decision and welcomes all measures that will shed light on the full extent of this episode and allow the sport to reform and to move forward,” the official stated.

“We await the findings of the independent commission which will look into the UCI’s role, and the recommendations they will make to ensure a healthy future for cycling.”

Last month the IOC vice-president Thomas Bach suggested that the organisation was studying the possibility of following USADA’s lead and declaring the statute of limitations no longer applies in this case.

“USADA’s report has given some pointers that the statute of limitation was interrupted through Lance Armstrong lying about doping,” he told Reuters. “We will have to examine to see if this is a way we can follow according to Swiss law.”

Armstrong has been very quiet of late, despite the UCI’s decision plus the departure of his personal sponsors. His lawyers have also said little, aside from confirming that no appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport would be made.

He learned this week that Adelaide, which previously presented him with its highest honour by awarding him its highest honour, the key to the city, was stripping him of that distinction. Adelaide city councillors voted 6-1 on Tuesday to remove the honour, making him the first of 33 recipients to lose out.

In addition to that, the satirical cartoon South Park lampooned him yesterday in a programme which didn’t mention him by name, but clearly alluded to his case and also the wristbands that he popularised.

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