Paperwork holding up redistribution of Athens Olympic time trial medals

As the clock ticks down on the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) statute of limitations for revisions, the movement is yet to make a decision over whether to readjust the result of the 2004 Athens men's time trial, won by Tyler Hamilton.

The US gold medallist was reported to have voluntarily turned in his prize to USADA (U.S Anti-Doping Agency) in May last year, a day after his public confession of doping during his career on the 60 Minutes program.

The IOC requires documentation from USADA in order to formally remove Hamilton from the record books and then redistribute the medals – which has again been requested, IOC vice president Thomas Bach told The Associated Press.

"USADA told us they're still looking into the matter," he said.

Hamilton tested positive for homologous blood doping at the 2004 Vuelta a España, which followed the Olympic Games. In fact, Hamilton's "A" sample from the Olympic Games time trial had also tested positive for a blood transfusion, but mishandling of the backup sample meant the result could not be confirmed with the "B" sample, and therefore, Hamilton had been allowed to keep his Olympic medal.

Hamilton had won the 2004 Olympic Games time trial ahead of Viatcheslav Ekimov (Russia) and Bobby Julich (United States of America) and Michael Rogers (Australia). In theory, the new assignment of medals could be Ekimov - gold, Julich - silver and Rogers - bronze.

A previous joint appeal by the Russian and Australian Olympic Committees to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, in 2006, was denied. The Russians and Australians had asked unsuccessfully for CAS to give Hamilton's medal to Ekimov.

The IOC executive board meets mid this week and it was hoped that the matter could be finalised but this appears unlikely. Back confirmed in the interview that the IOC could eventually act on its own should the paperwork not be handed over with an August deadline approaching.

The purpose of the IOC requesting the paperwork is to ensure that Hamilton's result is the only adjustment that needs to be made and therefore there is no other suspicious activity from an athlete or coach during the Athens Games. The IOC does have the option of not redistributing the medals, and only disqualifying Hamilton.

USADA said it had no comment to make on the Hamilton-IOC case, in The Associated Press article.


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