IOC should be allowed to strip Armstrong of Olympic medal says Executive Board member

Wednesday, 28 November 2012
By Duncan Mackay 

Lance Armstrong Sydney Olympics time trial September 30 2000November 28 - Lance Armstrong should be stripped of his Olympic bronze medal from Sydney 2000 even though technically the International Olympic Committee (IOC) do not have the right to take it away from him, Executive Board member John Coates has claimed.

Armstrong finished third in the time trial at Sydney 12 years ago behind Russia's Viatcheslav Ekimov and Germany's Jan Ullrich.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) said that all of Armstrong's results from 1998 should be annulled following the life ban they gave him in August after finding him guilty of taking performance-enhancing drugs. 

The American has been stripped by the International Cycling Union (UCI) of the seven Tour de France titles he won between 1999 and 2005 but, under the Olympic Charter, the IOC are powerless to act because of its eight-year statute of limitations. 

The matter is set to be discussed at the IOC's ruling Executive Board meeting in Lausanne next Tuesday and Wednesday (December 4 and 5).

"I would hope we can deal with it because the evidence [against Armstrong] is overwhelming," Coates told The Australian.

John Coates at London 2012IOC Executive Board member John Coates has been appointed by the UCI to form a commission to investigate the Lance Armstrong scandal

Coates has a particular interest in the case.

He was a senior vice-president of Sydney 2000 and has been appointed by the UCI to recommend the composition and membership of the Independent Commission that will investigate their role in helping cover up the issue of doping in the sport.

Coates believes that USADA and UCI have already set a precedent by stripping Armstrong of victories he claimed more than a decade ago.

"USADA and the UCI went outside the eight-year limit on the basis that the statute doesn't apply if you have broken the law, so I imagine our lawyers will see if that also applies with us," he said.

Spain's Abraham Olano Manzano, who finished fourth in Sydney, is the one who stands to benefit from Armstrong being disqualified. 

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