BUENOS AIRES (AFP) — The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is awaiting the return of disgraced American cyclist Lance Armstrong’s Olympic bronze medal from the 2000 Games in Sydney nine months after it asked for it back, the head of the IOC’s judicial commission, Thomas Bach, revealed on Monday.
The IOC had written to Armstrong — who was third in the time trial event in Sydney — in January, asking him to hand back the medal. Bach admitted that while the cyclist had accepted the punishment, he had yet to honor his promise to return the medal.
“We declared his result null and void and decided not to bump up anyone into the bronze medal position [Spaniard Abraham Olano finished fourth],” said Bach, who is the favorite to succeed outgoing IOC President Jacques Rogge in Tuesday’s election in Buenos Aires.
“This has not been challenged but we are sadly lacking the medal. We are working with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) to get it back as we requested.”
The IOC waited to punish the American until the UCI sanctioned Armstrong, which it did on December 6 last year, and during the subsequent three weeks in which the Texan had recourse to appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and was banned from the sport for life last October after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) produced evidence of widespread doping by him and his former teammates.