Lance to keep medal, for now

2012-10-11 19:48
Lance Armstrong (AP)

Berlin - Lance Armstrong will keep his 2000 Sydney Games bronze medal for now despite being accused of cheating his way to the top in cycling, the International Olympic Committee saying it is still too early to take action.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) said the American, who won the Tour de France seven times, was part of the "most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen".

USADA has banned Armstrong, 41, for life and stripped him of his Tour de France titles and on Wednesday it published the findings of an investigation into the cyclist and his US Postal Service team.

Armstrong's lawyer called the probe a "hatchet job" and "witch hunt". The rider has denied cheating and has never failed a doping test but he did not fight the USADA charges.

"The IOC has taken note of USADA's report and is currently reviewing it together with all related documentation," an IOC official told Reuters on Thursday. "It would be premature at this stage to say whether the IOC is contemplating any action.

"Should we come across any evidence that would justify opening a disciplinary procedure we would of course act accordingly."

Armstrong won the bronze in the time trial in Sydney. The IOC has a statute of limitation of eight years to change results and strip athletes of their medals.

The USADA report, however, links Armstrong to doping before the Sydney Games and could offer a different legal basis for the IOC to act.

The comprehensive report contained the testimony of 11 of Armstrong's former team-mates that, according to USADA, provided undeniable proof the American was at the centre of a sophisticated doping programme.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which also received the report, praised USADA's actions.

"We would like to commend USADA for having the courage and the resolve to keep focused in working on this difficult case for the sake of clean athletes and the integrity of sport," WADA president John Fahey said in a statement.

"WADA welcomes the fully reasoned decision from the US Anti-Doping Agency with respect to the Lance Armstrong case and confirms that we will now, as with all cases, carefully consider its contents and the voluminous accompanying evidence.

"The process followed by USADA has at all times been appropriate and careful and in compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code," Fahey added.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) has 21 days to decide whether to appeal against USADA's rulings.

"Thereafter WADA has a further 21 days to determine whether we will exercise our independent right of appeal," said Fahey.

Read more on:    usada  |  ioc  |  wada  |  lance armstrong  |  cycling

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 PSL season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Besides the 'Big 3' of rugby, cricket and soccer, which of the 'smaller' sports in South Africa do you enjoy the most?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.