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Olympics To Drop Cycling? Lance Armstrong Confession Could Spur IOC Action

01/15/2013 05:57 pm ET

Add the International Olympic Committee to the list of parties interested in the details of Lance Armstrong's doping confession.

Reversing course after years of denial, the disgraced cyclist confessed use of performance-enhancing drugs during his career, according to Oprah. She sat down with Armstrong for a "no-holds-barred" interview on Monday and confirmed reports of a confession on Tuesday during a visit to "CBS This Morning."

On the same day that Oprah dished on her Armstrong interview, a member of the International Olympic Committee talked to Reuters about dumping cycling from the Games if the confession reveals complicity by the sport's governing body with doping.

"The only way it (cycling) is going to clean up is if all these people say 'hey, we're no longer in the Olympics and that's where we want to be so let's earn our way back into it,'" IOC member Dick Pound said in a telephone interview with Reuters.

In recent months, the IOC has been attempting to address doping in previous Games. In response to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency report that implicated Armstrong in a widespread doping scheme, the IOC announced in November that it opened an inquiry into his participation in the 2000 Summer Olympics. Armstrong won a bronze medal in Sydney in road time trial.

In August 2012, the IOC formally stripped U.S. cyclist Tyler Hamilton of his gold medal from the 2004 Games. Hamilton won gold in the road race time trial at the Athens Games, but later confessed to doping during an interview with "60 Minutes."

During that interview, Hamilton implicated Armstrong in doping, stating that he had seen him dope in various ways through the years.

''I feel bad that I had to go here and do this,'' Hamilton said during the interview, via The Associated Press. ''But I think at end of the day, like I said, long-term, the sport's going to be better for it.''

Would cycling benefit from being dropped from the Olympic program? Or would such a move only do more harm to those riders who have been clean all along? In remarks on the occasion of her retirement from the sport, British cyclist Nicole Cooke lamented how much dopers, notably Armstrong and Hamilton, have already cost those who compete honestly.

“I have been robbed by drugs cheats, but am fortunate, I am here with more in my basket and more jerseys than I dreamed off as a 12-year-old girl," Cooke told The Telegraph. "But for many people who do ride clean, some are going through horrific financial turmoil.”

The International Cycling Union, the sport's governing body, has called on Armstrong to testify to a commission on doping, in part to repair its own image.

"If these reports are true, we would strongly urge Lance Armstrong to testify to the independent commission established to investigate the allegations made against the UCI in the recent USADA reasoned decision on Lance Armstrong and the United States Postal Service team," the organization said in a statement to The Associated Press.

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