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Tuesday 17, Sep 2013

  Armstrong Gives Back Olympic Bronze Medal

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Armstrong Gives Back Olympic Bronze Medal

Former American professional cyclist @Lance Armstrong has tweeted that he had given back the bronze medal he won at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

Mark Higgins, who has been a manager and spokesman for Armstrong for several years, handed over the medal to USOC chief executive officer Scott Blackmun at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport and Lance Armstrong declined further comment.

Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee has remarked that it will not reallocate the bronze medal of Armstrong. The IOC follows the same way in which the governing body of cycling decided not to declare any winners for the Tour titles once held by Lance Armstrong. This means Spanish rider Abraham Olano Manzano, who finished fourth in Sydney, will not be upgraded and the bronze medal originally awarded to Armstrong will be left vacant in Olympic records.

Armstrong’s U.S. Postal Service teammate, Vyacheslav Ekimov of Russia, won the gold and Jan Ullrich of Germany won silver. Ekimov was the teammate of Lance Armstrong during the time period in which USADA outlined widespread doping on the team. Ullrich had confirmed in an interview that he used blood-doping treatments during his career. The IOC previously stripped Tyler Hamilton, a former Armstrong teammate, of his time-trial gold medal from the 2004 Olympics after he acknowledged doping.

A spokesman for the U.S. Olympic Committee confirmed the fact that Olympic bronze medal awarded to Armstrong had been returned. Patrick Sandusky said the United States Olympic Committee has received the bronze medal awarded to Lance Armstrong at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. He further remarked the International Olympic Committee and the USOC had previously requested that the medal be returned and the USOC has made arrangements to return the medal to the IOC.

Armstrong was asked to give back the medal after he confessed to using banned performance enhancing drugs throughout his career. The cyclist was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life from cycling. His doping confession came months after the United States Anti-Doping Agency detailed widespread use of performance enhancing drugs by the cyclist and his U.S. Postal Service team.

Lance Edward Armstrong had won the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times between 1999 and 2005 and is the founder of the Livestrong Foundation, originally called the Lance Armstrong Foundation. The cyclist started his career in 1992 as a professional cyclist with the Motorola team. Armstrong was diagnosed in October 1996 with testicular cancer that had spread to his brain and lungs. Lance Armstrong became a professional triathlete at the age of 16 and became national sprint-course triathlon champion in 1989 and 1990 at 18 and 19, respectively. During 1992-96, Armstrong collected the Thrift Drug Triple Crown of Cycling: the Thrift Drug Classic in Pittsburgh, the K-Mart West Virginia Classic, and the CoreStates USPRO national championship in Philadelphia. In 1996, Armstrong became the first American to win the La Flèche Wallonne and again won the Tour DuPont. The cyclist has recorded an aerobic capacity of 83.8 mL/kg/min (VO2 max), which is much higher than the average person (40–50), but less than other winners of Tour de France like Miguel Indurain and Greg LeMond (92.5).

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Friday 02, Nov 2012

  Doping Inquiry Into Cycling Bronze Opens

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Doping Inquiry Into Cycling Bronze Opens

On Thursday, the International Olympic Committee opened an investigation into the role of Lance Armstrong in a doping scandal that has tarnished the image of professional cycling besides wiping out his seven Tour de France titles. The investigation would also mean that the cyclist may lose his Olympic bronze medal he won in the road time trial at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

The cyclist finished behind winner and U.S. Postal Service teammate Vyacheslav Ekimov of Russia and Jan Ullrich of Germany and now his medal will go to Abraham Olano Manzano of Spain, who stands to move up to bronze if Armstrong is stripped of the medal. Vyacheslav Ekimov was upgraded to the gold after the IOC stripped a former Armstrong teammate, Tyler Hamilton, of his gold medal from the 2004 Athens Olympics after he admitted to using performance enhancing drugs.

A former Armstrong teammate who won the time-trial bronze at the 2008 Beijing Games, Levi Leipheimer, may also have his medal revoked after he confessed to doping. He is presently serving a reduced, six-month suspension after cooperating with the USADA inquiry. Alberto Contador, the Spaniard who was stripped of the 2010 Tour de France title after testing positive for clenbuterol, finished fourth behind Leipheimer in 2008.

The Olympic involvement of other riders and officials implicated in a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency report will also be examined by the IOC. The USADA report detailed “the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.” After the release of this report, it was sent to the governing body of cycling (UCI) and World Anti-doping Agency (WADA). The UCI endorsed the sanctions imposed on the cyclist by USADA and said Armstrong had no place in cycling. The United States Anti-doping Agency banned the seven-time winner of Tour de France for life and stripped him of all his titles after August 1, 1998.

The International Olympic Committee said in a statement that it will start the process regarding the involving of Armstrong, other riders, and their entourages. The medals could come up for review at the executive board meeting of the IOC next month in Lausanne, Switzerland. Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee is also evaluating the plans of UCI for an independent investigation for examining the allegations about the own conduct of the federation and its relations with the cyclist as raised by the report by USADA.

The IOC said it has taken note of the decision made by the governing body of cycling and welcomes every measure taken to shed light on the full extent of the episode and to help the sport of cycling reform to move forward. It also added that that finding of the independent commission that will be looking into the role of the UCI and the recommendations for a healthy future for the game are awaited. However, the IOC may find itself in a dilemma whether to apply the eight-year statute for revising Olympic results or not. IOC vice president Thomas Bach said the report by the USADA took an intriguing approach that leaves the eight-year period open to discussion.

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