Armstrong stripped of Olympic bronze medal

New York, Jan 18 (IANS) American cyclist Lance Armstrong has been stripped of a bronze medal he won at the 2000 Olympic Games by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), hours before the airing of his interview with Oprah Winfrey in a talk show.

The IOC said Thursday it had asked Armstrong to return his time-trial medal he won at Sydney as he failed to appeal against the sanctions imposed by the International Cycling Union (ICU) before the deadline of three weeks, reports Xinhua.

Abraham Olano of Spain finished fourth in the race in 2000, which was won by Viasheslav Ekinov, Armstrong's ex-US Post Service team-mate. Jan Ullrich of Germany took the silver.

Ekinov, general manager of the Katusha cycling team, had his team be dropped from the elite ProTeam list for this season because of ambiguous relationship with doping, while Ullrich is serving a two-year ban for doping.

Armstrong, whose record seven Tour de France titles were taken away last year, was expected to confess to the world in the interview.

Winfrey said the 41-year-old Armstrong admitted taking illegal substances during the interview Monday.

The talk show will be aired in two segments Thursday and Friday night.

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