Lance Armstrong poses with his bronze medal after the men's
Olympic individual time trial in Sydney, in this September
2000 file photo. Photo: Reuters
Lance Armstrong has been stripped of his 2000 Olympic
Games cycling time trial bronze medal by the International
Olympic Committee, continuing the once dominant American
rider's 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 after the
decision to take away the last major title held by the
The retired Armstrong had his seven Tour de France titles
taken from him and was banned for life by the International
Cycling Union (UCI) in October after several riders testified
that he took drugs.
The UCI also stripped Armstrong, who had never failed a
doping tests, of all results since Aug. 1, 1998.
The testimony came in a United States Anti-Doping Agency
(USADA) report in which the 41-year-old's former U.S Postal
team was accused of running "the most sophisticated,
professionalized and successful doping program that sport has
Armstrong, a cancer survivor who founded the Livestrong
Foundation, had always vehemently denied wrongdoing and
aggressively pursued anyone claiming he did.
He is, however, due to appear on US television today, and
reports say he will confess to taking banned substances.
CBS Television reported on Tuesday the former rider had
offered to pay more that $5 million to the U.S. government in
compensation for an alleged fraud against the U.S. Postal
Service, which for years sponsored his cycling team.
The network also said he had offered to co-operate as a
witness in a U.S. investigation but the Department of Justice
turned down his request, raising the prospect that he could
yet serve time in prison.
The first part of Armstrong's much-awaited interview with
talkshow host Oprah Winfrey, taped earlier this week, will be
broadcast later on Thursday.
The 2000 bronze was the only Olympic medal Armstrong ever
claimed despite a glittering career in which he dominated his
sport and won the Tour every year 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.
Spaniard Abraham Olano Manzano came fourth in the Sydney time
trial and the IOC official said it had yet to be decided if
he would be moved up to bronze.
IOC sources said, however, it was very unlikely Manzano would
be promoted because the organisation preferred to leave the
medal vacant as it has done with the 100 metres sprint gold
won by American athlete Marion Jones, also a doping offender,
at the 2000 Games.