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IOC disqualifies four 2004 Games medalists for doping, Armstrong likely next

The SportsXchange

The International Olympic Committee on Wednesday stripped four athletes of medals they won in the 2004 Athens Summer Games due to positive doping tests, the IOC executive board announced.

And there's the possibility of further action that potentially could strip Lance Armstrong of his bronze medal from the 2000 Sydney Summer Games.

Following retests earlier this year on samples from 2004 that showed positive use of steroids, the IOC took action, stripping the gold medal from shot putter Yuriy Bilonog of Ukraine, silver medal from hammer thrower Ivan Tskikhan of Belarus, bronze medal from shot putter Svetlana Krivelyova of Russia and the bronze from discus thrower Irina Yatchenko of Belarus.

A fate of a fifth bronze medalist, Russian weightlifter Oleg Perepechenov, has not been decided yet by the IOC whether he will lose his medal or not.

The IOC reportedly plans on asking the International Association of Athletics Federations to collect the four medals and adjust the finishes of the events in the 2004 Games that the penalized athletes competed in.

When that happens, U.S. shot-putter Adam Nelson would see his silver medal boosted to gold due to Bilonog's disqualification.

As for Armstrong, who has already lost his seven Tour de France championships from 1999-2005 for doping allegations, the IOC delayed stripping him of his bronze medal in the cycling road time trial due to reported procedural delays.

However, according to media reports, it's just a matter of time, as the IOC has reportedly already informed Armstrong that they want the medal back after a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency report labeled him as a drug cheat.

The IOC is waiting for cycling's governing body, UCI, to notify Armstrong that it is voiding all of his results in cycling competition from August 1998 until the 2005 Tour de France.

"The IOC today will not move," IOC President Jacques Rogge said during a press conference at IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. "We need to have the situation whereby the UCI notifies officially Mr. Armstrong of the fact that he will be disqualified, declared ineligible and that he should hand over his medal.

"This is a legal obligation not for the IOC but for the International Cycling Union. When he will be notified, Mr. Armstrong will have 21 days to launch an appeal if he wishes. It is only after this period of 21 days that the IOC can legally take action."

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