Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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National and World

January 17, 2013

AP sources: IOC strips Armstrong of Olympic medal

LONDON (AP) — Thirteen years after he stood on the podium in Sydney, Lance Armstrong was stripped of his bronze medal from the 2000 Olympics because of doping.

The International Olympic Committee sent a letter to Armstrong on Wednesday night asking him to return the medal, just as it said it planned to do last month.

The decision was first reported Thursday by The Associated Press.

The IOC executive board discussed revoking the medal in December, but delayed a decision until cycling's governing body notified Armstrong he had been stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and all results since 1998. He then had 21 days to appeal.

Now that the deadline has expired, the IOC decided to take the medal away. The letter to Armstrong was also sent to the U.S. Olympic Committee, which would collect the medal.

"Having had confirmation from UCI that Armstrong has not appealed the decision to disqualify him from Sydney, we have written to him to ask for the return of the bronze medal," IOC spokesman Mark Adams told the AP. "We have also written to USOC to inform them of the decision."

The move was confirmed on the same day that Armstrong's admission of using performance-enhancing drugs — after years of denials — is to be broadcast in an interview with Oprah Winfrey. The timing of the IOC move, however, was not related to the TV interview.

Two months after winning his second Tour de France title in 2000, Armstrong took the bronze in Sydney in the road time trial behind winner and U.S. Postal Service teammate Vyacheslav Ekimov of Russia and Jan Ullrich of Germany.

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

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