The International Olympic Committee formally stripped cyclist Tyler Hamilton of the gold medal he won in the 2004 Olympic Games just days before the eight year time limit for changing medals expires. Hamilton wrote to the I.O.C. roughly seven weeks ago to ask that his name be withdrawn from the record books.
"I very much appreciate that you have expressed regret for having used performance enhancing drugs and that you hope that, through your example and future efforts, this will discourage others from using performance enhancing drugs," I.O.C. President Jacques Rogge wrote in a return letter to Hamilton recently posted online by the New York Daily News.
Hamilton's gold will now be given to silver medalist Viatcheslav Ekimov of Russia. Ekimov rode with Lance Armstrong on the Discovery and U.S. Postal Service teams before retiring in 2006 and later becoming director for Armstrong's Radioshack Cycling Team. Before assigning the medal to Ekimov, the I.O.C. wanted to make sure he wasn't going to be implicated by the USADA in any doping scandals related to his time in Athens, according to the Associated Press.
In 2011, Hamilton appeared on 60 Minutes and told Scott Pelley that he and Lance Armstrong doped. "[Armstrong] took what we all took ... the majority of the peloton," Hamilton says, referring to the tight group of bicycles and their riders in a race. "There was EPO ... testosterone ... a blood transfusion," he said to Pelley.