An International Olympic Committee board meeting has decided to hold fire on any decision to potentially strip Lance Armstrong of his bronze medal from the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
Armstrong's bronze medal in the Sydney time trial falls beyond the eight-year statute of limitations that the IOC currently observes. However, the American has already been stripped of all seven of his Tour de France titles, the first of which dated back to 1999. Tour organisers ASO and the UCI have agreed that Armstrong's results from 1998 to 2005 should not be reallocated.
Armstrong finished in third place in the Sydney time trial behind his then US Postal Service teammate Viacheslav Ekimov and Jan Ullrich. Abraham Olano finished in fourth place.
The IOC will wait for the UCI to officially inform Armstrong of his sanctions before moving ahead.
"The IOC today will not move because we need to have the situation whereby the UCI notifies officially Mr Armstrong of the fact that he will be disqualified and declared ineligible and that he should hand over his medal," IOC President Jacques Rogges said.
"When he will be notified Mr Armstrong will have 21 days to launch an appeal. It is only after that period that the IOC can legally take action."
Last month, IOC board member, International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) president René Fasel, that Lance Armstrong's credibility has disappeared regardless of the whatever final decision is reached in the investigation by the organisation.
Athens dope count goes up, again...
One hundred samples from the 2004 Athens Olympic Games were re-tested in May following a request by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) using newer testing methods. It was not the first time the IOC has re-tested samples belatedly. It did so for the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics and the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. While no new positives were detected from the 2006 Olympics, five athletes tested positive for EPO CERA in the 2008 re-testing.
It is standard procedure for Olympic doping samples to be stored for eight years. The Athens storage period expired on August 29 this year.
Five athletes were found to have produced 'adverse analytical findings' with four named - Ukrainian shot putter Yuriy Bilonog, Belarussian hammer thrower Ivan Tsikhan who won silver, bronze medalists Russian shot putter Svetlana Krivelyova and and Belarusian discus thrower Irina Yatchenko will all be stripped of their prize. The results of a fifth athlete is pending.
"Athletes who cheat by using doping substances must understand that just because they get away with it one day, there is a very good chance that they will be caught in the future," said WADA President John Fahey. "The retesting and subsequent decisions of the IOC are proof of that.
"Retesting should serve as a strong deterrent and WADA will continue to work with its stakeholders to enhance this component of the overall strategy for anti-doping."
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