Celeb News

Thursday 21 August 2014

Armstrong stripped of medal in latest fall from grace

Helen William

Published 18/01/2013 | 05:00

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DISGRACED cyclist Lance Armstrong has been stripped of his Olympic bronze medal before his public admission of cheating to talk-show host Oprah Winfrey was broadcast.

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Armstrong (41), who won seven Tour de France titles and beat cancer, has had all his results disqualified after the International Cycling Union (UCI), cycling's world governing body, found him guilty of systematic doping.

The US rider had 21 days to appeal against the UCI's decision, and once it was confirmed he had not done so the International Olympic Committee ( IOC) took action, removing the bronze he won at the 2000 Sydney Games.

An IOC spokesman said: "It was a decision taken in principle at the executive board before Christmas. We were waiting for confirmation from the UCI that he hadn't appealed against his disqualification."

Unforgivable

Winfrey has already revealed Armstrong came clean over his past, which saw him stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life, when the interview was recorded on Monday in his home city of Austin, Texas.

Armstrong received the life ban after the US Anti-Doping Agency found he had been at the heart of "the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen".

Olympic silver medallist Lizzie Armitstead tweeted: "Probably shouldn't give the bullies the time of day but my opinion in my own words: what LA (Lance) has done to the sport of cycling is unforgivable.

"I am happy the truth has come out for the good of cycling. I am not naive, cycling is not 100pc clean but which sport is?"

The motives for an admission – revealed by Winfrey – are unclear, but Armstrong, who retired from cycling for a second time in 2010, was competing in triathlons until he was banned last year.

The Winfrey interview could be just the beginning for Armstrong, with a confession opening him up to possible legal actions.

There are existing lawsuits involving SCA Promotions and 'The Sunday Times', while the US Department of Justice could yet join a whistleblower lawsuit filed against Armstrong by former teammate Floyd Landis.

The False Claims Act lawsuit could see Armstrong forced to repay a substantial sum to the US Government following its sponsorship of cycling through the US Postal Service.

The interview is being broadcast over two nights. The first part of the interview was shown on The Oprah Winfrey Network earlier today, with the second to follow 24 hours later.

Irish Independent

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