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10C to wait on show
10:37am Thursday 17th January 2013 in Sport
THE fall-out from Lance Armstrong’s expected doping confession is already being considered as the world awaits the broadcast of the disgraced cyclist’s interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Talk-show host Winfrey has already revealed Armstrong came clean over his sordid past, which saw him stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life, in their interview on Monday.
The 41-year-old was banned for life after the United States Anti-Doping Agency found he had been at the heart of ‘‘the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen’’.
The World Anti-Doping Agency and the UCI, cycling’s world governing body, have urged Armstrong to reveal all to the authorities if he is to have any hope of lifting his life ban.
The International Olympic Committee, meanwhile, is among those waiting for the interview to be broadcast before considering whether to demand that Armstrong returns the bronze medal he won in the road time-trial at the 2000 Games in Sydney.
In December, the IOC postponed a decision on whether to strip Armstrong of the medal because it had to wait until the UCI had declared all his results ineligible. If Armstrong does make a full confession in his interview, the IOC will ask for the medal to be returned.
IOC communications director Mark Adams said: ‘‘From our side – clearly if he admits he cheated then we will be asking for the medal back as we would with any athlete.’’ Adams also claimed it is ‘‘premature’’ to even consider cycling’s future in the Olympics.
IOC member Dick Pound, a former head of the World Anti-Doping Agency, claimed cycling might have to be dropped from the Olympics if Armstrong implicated the UCI in a cover-up of his systematic doping.
‘‘It’s going to depend on it being clear there’s a significant number of riders and a significant number of teams, and also some involvement of the cycling authorities themselves,’’ Pound said.
‘‘If you get that kind of a toxic mix together and you look at it from the perspective of the International Olympic Committee you think, ‘Well hold it, this has the potential to take our entire goodwill at the Games’.
‘‘Maybe the answer is to say to cycling, ‘Look, you’ve got to sort this problem out. In the meantime you’re an embarrassment to us. Why don’t you take whatever time is required and when you’ve got it all cleaned up then come back and we’ll welcome you back into the family?’.’’