IOC contemplates stripping 'disgraced' Armstrong of bronze medal

Johannesburg, Dec 01(ANI): The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is pondering over stripping Lance Armstrong of his bronze medal he won twelve years back in the road time trial at the 2000 Sydney Games.

The fate of Armstrong's medal will be addressed when the IOC executive board meets next week in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The board could decide to strip the medal then and there, or wait another few weeks until cycling's governing body has officially notified Armstrong of the loss of his Tour titles.

IOC lawyers are studying whether the eight-year statute of limitations applies in this case, an issue that could push back a decision.

"The board will consider this case," Sports24 quoted IOC vice president Thomas Bach, a German lawyer who heads the body's doping investigations, as saying.

"The board is following a zero-tolerance policy on doping," he added.

The IOC opened a disciplinary case last month after a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency report detailed widespread doping by Armstrong and his teammates, and the report called it the most sophisticated doping program in sports.

The international cycling federation, the UCI, ratified USADA's decision to strip Armstrong of his seven Tour titles from 1995-2005 and ban him for life.

WADA and the UCI annulled all of Armstrong's results since Aug. 1, 1998.

The IOC has an eight-year statute for changing Olympic results, but officials believe the decision by USADA and the cycling body to go back 14 years to disqualify Armstrong should clear the way for them to reach back to 2000.

"I would hope we can deal with it because the evidence (against Armstrong) is overwhelming," Australian IOC executive board member John Coates said to an Australian newspaper.

"USADA and the UCI went outside the eight-year limit on the basis that the statute simply doesn't apply if you have broken the law, so I imagine our lawyer will see if that applies with us," he added. (ANI)

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