Just days after the International Olympic Committee suggested that Lance Armstrong's revelations of performance-enhancing drug use could prompt the removal of cycling from future Olympic Games, the IOC has stripped Armstrong of his 2000 Olympic bronze medal.
Armstrong won the bronze in the road time trial event in Sydney, just two months after winning his second Tour de France. The IOC sent Armstrong a letter Wednesday night demanding the return of the medal.
The IOC apparently debated revoking the medal in December, but decided to wait until the International Cycling Union (UCI) formally stripped Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles. Armstrong had 21 days to appeal that decision, and did not do so.
"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."
It is customary in these instances for the Olympic Committee of the violator's home nation to demand the return of the medal, at which point it will be returned to the IOC. However, the medal will not be re-awarded to the fourth-place finisher, Abraham Olano Manzano of Spain. The bronze designation for 2000 will simply remain vacant.
-Follow Jay Busbee on Twitter at @jaybusbee.-
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