Thursday, January 17, 2013


Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong has been asked by the International Olympic Committee to hand back his Olympic medal following his confession to doping

The IOC acted after the International Cycling Union (UCI) disqualified all of Armstrong's results as a consequence of the American rider being found guilty of systematic doping.

Armstrong had 21 days to appeal against the UCI's decision and once it was confirmed he had not done so, the IOC took action.

An IOC spokesman said: 'We have written to Armstrong asking for him to return the medal and informed the US Olympic Committee.

'It was a decision taken in principle at the executive board before Christmas. We were waiting for confirmation from the UCI that he hadn't appealed against his disqualification.'

The shamed icon was written to by the IOC after telling Oprah Winfrey that, despite years of denials, his seven Tour de France titles were fuelled by illegal stimulants - an admission that prompted the world's leading crusader against drugs in sport to question cycling's place in the Olympic Games. 

Dick Pound, an IOC member and the former head of the World Anti- Doping Agency, said if the governing UCI are complicit in Armstrong's doping offences, 'the only way they are going to clean up is if all these people say, "Hey, we're no longer in the Olympics and that's where we want to be so let's earn our way back into it". 

'The IOC would have to deal with it. The UCI are not known for their strong actions in anti-doping. It was the same in weightlifting a few years ago. 

'All of a sudden when you get right up against it things go fuzzy and they say, "Well, we can't punish innocent athletes in these sports by dropping the sport from the program".'

The IOC would see the expulsion of such a prominent Olympic sport as a last resort despite claims that Armstrong bribed the UCI. 

The retention of Olympic cycling would suit British interests given that the country won 26 medals in the sport in the last two Games combined. 

The bleak news mounted up for Armstrong last night with Pound's former organisation, WADA, insisting that the TV mea culpa will not result in his lifetime ban from sport being overturned. 

They told Armstrong that giving evidence 'under oath' - rather than to America's talk show queen - was the only conceivable way he could compete again in his favourite post-cycling pursuit, triathlon.

Those sobering words arrived after Winfrey appeared on the CBS This Morning programme to talk up her exclusive interview.

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