Tour Runners-Up to Armstrong Tainted by Drug Accusations

The International Olympic Committee opened an investigation into Lance Armstrong’s bronze medal at the 2000 Games in Sydney.

The Texan faces losing the medal he won in the time-trial event after being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles by cycling’s governing body last week because of doping.

The Lausanne, Switzerland-based IOC said in an e-mail it will “immediately start the process concerning the involvement of Lance Armstrong, other riders and particularly their entourages with respect to the Olympic Games and their future involvement with the games.”

Armstrong was stripped of his 1999-2005 Tour victories and banned for life from competing in sanctioned events by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. It cited a career “fueled from start to finish by doping” when it released a 202-page summary of its investigation into the rider and the U.S. Postal Service cycling team on Oct. 10.

On Oct. 22 the International Cycling Union said it endorsed the USADA decision and wouldn’t appeal it to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

“The IOC has taken note of the UCI’s decision and welcomes all measures that will shed light on the full extent of this episode and allow the sport to reform and to move forward,” the IOC said.

Armstrong, who has denied doping and said he never failed a drug test, declined to take the USADA case to arbitration.

Today his lawyer Tim Herman said by e-mail that he had no response to the IOC statement.

In August, the IOC stripped Tyler Hamilton of the U.S. of his time-trial gold medal from the 2004 Athens games after he admitted doping. Russian silver medalist Viatcheslav Ekimov was awarded the gold instead.