Lance Armstrong "was stripped of his 2000 Olympic Games cycling time trial Bronze Medal" by the IOC on Thursday, "continuing the once dominant American rider's spectacular fall from grace after a doping storm," according to Karolos Grohmann of REUTERS. The 2000 Bronze Medal was the only Olympic medal Armstrong ever won "despite dominating cycling by winning" the Tour de France from '99-05. The IOC "had been preparing to make a move for the medal for months" but decided at its exec board meeting in December to wait for the Int'l Cycling Union (UCI) to inform Armstrong "of the titles taken from him and give him the right to appeal" (REUTERS, 1/17). An IOC spokesperson said, "We have written to Armstrong asking for him to return the medal and informed the U.S. Olympic Committee. It was a decision taken in principle at the executive board before Christmas. We were waiting for confirmation from the UCI that he hadn't appealed against his disqualification." The PA's Martyn Ziegler noted the IOC's announcement came only hours before Armstrong's expected public admission of cheating on Oprah Winfrey's program (PA, 1/17).
The IOC has summoned a meeting of representatives of the Pakistan Olympic Association and Pakistan Sports Board on Feb. 15 in Switzerland to discuss the "ongoing tussle between the two institutions and the present scenario of sports in Pakistan," according to PAKISTAN TODAY. POA President Syed Arif Hasan said, "It is a very important meeting summoned by IOC to see and review what is happening in the affairs of sports in Pakistan and POA, and we are confident that a solution will come up in it." He added that the IOC and Olympic Council of Asia are "monitoring the situation of sports affairs in Pakistan" and have expressed their "full support" to POA after PSB formed an ad-hoc committee for holding the national games. Hasan: "We strongly believe that the IOC meeting will thoroughly discuss the present crisis which has engulfed Pakistani sports scene after some illegal decisions of PSB at a meeting held recently" (PAKISTAN TODAY, 1/17).
Coca-Cola has opened an exhibit in Moscow called History & Future of Olympic Torch Relay with Coke dedicated to the start of the Nomination Campaign of Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay. The exhibition opened Thursday and will close Jan. 24. The featured exhibits are the symbols of past Olympic Torch Relays including torches, torchbearers' uniform, exclusive photos and unique exhibits of the Moscow 1980 Olympic Games (Coca-Cola). ... Russia Olympic Committee President Dmitry Chernyshenko said that his country was "set to host the greenest Games ever" when the Winter Olympics are held in Sochi next year. Chernyshenko said, "We are delivering the Green Games, and since our bidding campaign we were committed not only to protecting the environment... but (also) dramatically enhancing the environmental situation." He added, "This is new to our country. This is the first step to demonstrate that you can build an environment in harmony with nature" (AFP, 1/17). ... The PyeongChang Special Olympics World Winter Games held a torch-lighting in Greece Thursday night as organizers "beef up preparations for the start of the event less than two weeks away." The PyeongChang Special Olympics World Winter Games, which begins Jan. 29 in the South Korean winter resort city of Gangwon, is "the world’s biggest winter sports event for people with disabilities" (KOREA JOONGANG DAILY, 1/18).