LONDON (AP) — The IOC will wait for cycling's governing body to act on Lance Armstrong's doping case before it considers taking away his Olympic bronze medal from the 2000 Sydney Games.
The Olympic body also will look into removing Levi Leipheimer's bronze medal from the 2008 Beijing Games after his admission of doping, IOC Vice President Thomas Bach told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
Bach said the IOC will wait for the International Cycling Union, or UCI, to determine whether Armstrong should have been banned before the Sydney Olympics and Leipheimer suspended before the Beijing Games.
The medals are at stake following the release of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's report last week that identified Armstrong as a serial drug cheat and erased his seven Tour de France titles. Leipheimer, one of the key witnesses in USADA's case against Armstrong, confessed to his own doping — and was fired Tuesday by the Omega Pharma-Quick Step team.
Bach, a German lawyer who heads the IOC's legal panel and handles doping investigations, said the committee is studying the USADA report for any other doping admissions that might affect Olympic eligibility or results.
The UCI received USADA's report last week and has 21 days to decide whether to formally ratify the decision to strip Armstrong of his Tour titles or appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The report said Armstrong was involved in doping well before the Sydney Olympics, where he finished third in the road time trial.
"The UCI will have to decide whether he should have been banned before the Sydney Games," Bach said in a telephone interview. "If that is the case, then we would have to study the statute of limitations."
The IOC has an eight-year statute for revising Olympic results. But Bach said the USADA report took an "intriguing approach" in Armstrong's case that leaves the eight-year period open to discussion.
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