The International Olympic Committee stripped Lance Armstrong of the bronze medal he won in the bicycling individual time trial at the 2000 Sydney Games, and has written to the American requesting its return.
Armstrong three days ago acknowledged using drugs during his cycling career, reversing 13 years of denials by the record seven-time Tour de France champion and cancer survivor who was one of the world’s most revered athletes. A recorded interview with talk show host Oprah Winfrey in which Armstrong talks about his drug use for the first time is to be aired later today.
The IOC’s decision to request the return of the medal was made in December following a meeting of its executive committee. Letters were sent yesterday to Armstrong, 41, and also the U.S. Olympic Committee. IOC spokesman Mark Adams today confirmed the governing body’s letter to the rider in an e-mailed statement.
Armstrong has already been stripped of his Tour de France titles and was dropped by longtime sponsors including Nike Inc., Oakley Inc. and Anheuser-Busch InBev NV following the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s revelations in October that he was part of “the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.”
Armstrong, now also banned for life from the Olympics, stepped down from Livestrong, the charity he founded in 1997 that says it has raised more than $470 million for the fight against cancer.