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IOC officially strips Lance of Sydney medal

Jan 17, 2013, 9:17 AM EDT

Lance Armstrong AP

Apparently, we’ve all decided that today is the last day we want to talk about Lance Armstrong for the foreseeable future. And so, on the same day the shamed cyclist will admit to doping on Oprah, Lance has officially been stripped of his Sydney medal.

Armstrong was sent a letter from the IOC Wednesday asking him to return his bronze after a 21-day deadline to appeal UCI sanctions expired, according to officials who spoke with the AP.

The IOC is seemingly ignoring an eight-year statute of limitations on changing results, arguing that the statute is no longer valid since Armstrong broke the law.

The IOC has already stripped former Armstrong teammate Tyler Hamilton of his Athens gold after he admitted to doping, and is currently investigating teammate and Beijing bronze medalist Levi Leipheimer, who admitted to his crime as part of his testimony during the USADA’s investigation of Armstrong.

Spanish rider Abraham Olano Manzano, who finished fourth behind Lance in the time trial, won’t be bumped up to bronze. Instead, the spot will be left vacant as a forever reminder to the world: Hugs, not drugs.

  1. wingsdjy - Jan 17, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    I don’t get why they won’t bump the 4th place guy into 3rd. He’s essentially being punished because the IOC failed to screen out PED users.

    • Matthew Kitchen - Jan 17, 2013 at 4:00 PM

      Agreed. And I’m wondering how high he’d actually have risen after further investigation, as the gold medalist in 2000 was a US Postal teammate of Armstrong and the silver medalist was long-suspected of doping, too.

  2. boukengreen - Jan 17, 2013 at 8:27 PM

    I don’t think you can. Because doping was so prevalent during that time we don’t know who was doping and who wasn’t doping.

  3. raysfan1 - Jan 18, 2013 at 12:19 AM

    Interesting article on PED usage in sports, from Sports Illustrated:
    Note the year this article was published…1960.

    Of particular note to me in the article was this line:
    “For years the favorite drug of Europe’s bike riders (called by many the most drug-ridden group in the world) has been cocaine.”
    Part of it is that I think most of us would agree that cocaine is a pretty bad PED. However, the idea that international cycling has been notoriously drug-riddled for over 50 years was both eye brow raising for me and eye opening. While one could argue that the playing field is level if seemingly everyone cheats, I personally have found cycling virtually unwatchable for years because of how ubiquitous PEDs have clearly been in their sport.

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