Lance Armstrong has been stripped of his 2000 Olympic Games cycling time trial bronze medal by the International Olympic Committee, continuing the once dominant rider’s spectacular fall from grace after a doping storm.
“We have written asking for the return of the medal from the Sydney 2000 Games,” an IOC official told Reuters on Thursday after the decision to take away the last major title held by the disgraced American.
The retired Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life by the International Cycling Union (UCI) in October after several riders testified that he took drugs.
Eighteen gold medals for Michael Phelps after winning his final-ever Olympic race.
PHOTO: Michael Phelps, Matthew Grevers (L) and Brendan Hansen (R) of the U.S. celebrate after team mate Nathan Adrian swam to win the gold in the men’s 4x100m medley relay final during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre August 4, 2012. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
FULL COVERAGE: The London 2012 Summer Olympic Games
The first Saudi woman to compete at the Olympics may have bowed out after only 80 seconds on the judo mat on Friday but she was hailed as a heroine by many web-users in her homeland and given an enthusiastic reception by the Olympic crowd.
Only a week ago, softly spoken and shy teenager Wojdan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shaherkani had been labelled a “whore” on Twitter by some in conservative Saudi Arabia, but that criticism has been since drowned out by an outpouring of support and applause.
Her appearance had been in doubt due to wrangling days over whether judo authorities would allow her to wear an Islamic headscarf while competing, but in the end she entered the arena wearing something akin to a swimming cap.
“I’m really happy to be at the Olympics and proud to represent the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and thank all those who stood with me,” she told Reuters, clutching her older brother’s hand as they negotiated a media scrum.
Shaherkani, one of two Saudi women chosen to compete at the Games, was defeated in the first round of the +78kg judo category by Melissa Mojica of Puerto Rico.
The United States powered to gold in the flagship women’s Olympic eight on Thursday after fighting off fierce rivals Canada to maintain their stunning six-year winning streak and cap a thrilling day of racing on Dorney Lake.
The American women’s crew are likely to receive a heroes welcome following their emphatic win on the course to the west of London which confirmed their dominance of the event.
Having taken a half a length lead over Canada and the Netherlands in the early stages they had to hold on as their neighbours came back at them before 25,000 roaring fans packed into the course to the west of London.
“This was awesome, at the end I don’t think I could have pulled one more stroke,” Caroline Lind told reporters on the side of the lake after they had earlier punched the air and splashed the water as they crossed the line. “We got the gold and that is what mattered.”
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