AP source: IOC to strip Hamilton of Athens gold

Associated Press
FILE - In this Aug. 18, 2004, file photo, Tyler Hamilton holds up his gold medal after the men's road individual time trial of the 2004 Olympic Games in the outskirts of Athens. The IOC is set to formally strip American cyclist Tyler Hamilton of his gold from the 2004 Athens Games and reassign the medals after his admission of doping, according to an Olympic official familiar with the case.   (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)
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LONDON (AP) — Five things to know about Thursday, Day 13 of the London Olympics:

—Olympic official to AP: IOC to strip Tyler Hamilton of 2004 gold, give it to Russia's Ekimov.

—Haley Anderson of US wins silver in grueling open water race at Hyde Park.

—World-record holder Ashton Eaton leads by 99 points after 7 events in decathlon.

—Diana Lopez of US loses her taekwondo opening fight.

—Pistorius' South African relay team advances to 4x400 relay on appeal.

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The IOC is set to formally strip American cyclist Tyler Hamilton of his gold from the 2004 Athens Games and reassign the medals after his admission of doping, according to an Olympic official familiar with the case.

With the eight-year deadline approaching, the official told The Associated Press the IOC executive board will meet Friday to readjust the standings from the road race time trial and award the gold to retired Russian rider Viatcheslav Ekimov.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision hasn't been announced yet.

After years of denials, Hamilton told CBS's "60 Minutes" last year that he had repeatedly used performance-enhancing drugs. The IOC asked for documents from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency before reallocating the medals.

The gold will now go to Ekimov, a former teammate of Hamilton and Lance Armstrong.

American Bobby Julich will be moved up from bronze to silver, and Michael Rogers of Australia from fourth to bronze.

The Russian Olympic Committee has repeatedly pressed for Ekimov to be upgraded to gold.

Ekimov already has two golds — the track team pursuit at the 1988 Seoul Games and the road time trial at the 2000 Sydney Games.

The Russians failed in a 2006 appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to have Hamilton's gold given to Ekimov.

Ekimov rode with Armstrong on the U.S. Postal and Discovery Channel teams. He retired from cycling at the end of the 2006 season but remained in the sport as a director of the Discovery and RadioShack teams.

The case has gained urgency because the IOC's eight-year statute of limitations runs out at the end of this month.

USADA said at the time of Hamilton's doping admission that he had turned over his gold medal to the doping agency, but the IOC had not received it and the race result had not been officially overturned.

Before adjusting the results and reallocating the medals, the IOC wanted to be certain there was nothing in the U.S. investigation that implicated other riders or their coaches from the Athens cycling competition.

The IOC could have decided to disqualify Hamilton but not readjust the medals.

SWIMMING

Eva Risztov of Hungary held off American Haley Anderson in the women's open water race at Hyde Park in a sprint to the finish.

Risztov was out front most of the way in the grueling 10-kilometer race, leading a five-woman pack that broke away from the rest of the field. Anderson was the only one with a chance to chase down the leader after they made the turn for home, but the Hungarian reached up to make the touch just ahead of the U.S. swimmer by four-tenths of a second after a nearly two-hour race.

The winning time was 1 hour, 57 minutes, 38.2 seconds.

ATHLETICS

Ashton Eaton had a 99-point lead after seven events in the decathlon after hurdles and the discus Thursday. World-record holder Eaton had a 220-point advantage over his U.S. teammate after the first five events Wednesday but two-time champion Trey Hardee reduced the margin by running the fastest time in the 110-meter hurdles — 13.54 seconds — and finishing third in discus throw, at 48.26 meters.

Eaton posted the second-best hurdles time (13.56) but his 42.53 in the discus was only 22nd in the rankings.

With the pole vault, javelin and 1,500 meters to go, Eaton had 6,409 points and Hardee had 6,310.

Eaton broke the decathlon world record at U.S. trials in June when he finished with 9,039 points.

On the track, an appeal gave double-amputee runner Oscar Pistorius his chance to run in the 4x400-meter relay after he never even got a chance at the baton in the preliminaries because South Africa crashed out in the first heat after a collision with a Kenyan runner.

The Kenyan team was later disqualified for impeding Ofentse Mogawane. South Africa, the silver medalists at the last world championships, filed an appeal to be restored to the final.

The IAAF says the South Africans will run in Lane 9 after the jury met and "agreed to advance the South African team, even though they did not finish the race, considering that they had been severely damaged in the incident with Kenya."

The man known as the "Blade Runner" became the first amputee runner to compete in the Olympic track and field competition when he ran in the individual 400 earlier in the week, reaching the semifinals.

TAEKWONDO

Diana Lopez of the United States lost her opening-round match, falling in overtime to two-time world champion Hou Yuzhuo of China 1-0 in the women's under-57-kilogram division Thursday.

Her hopes for gold disappeared in an instant in overtime. After almost seven scoreless minutes, one well-placed kick was the only point of the bout.

"I felt stronger than her," Lopez said. "I just went off the line, and she tapped my chest protector. That's it."

Lopez was a bronze medalist at the Beijing Games. Lopez could still compete for bronze, depending on the outcome of other matches.

Lopez's brother, two-time Olympic champion Steven Lopez, fights Friday in the under-80-kilogram division. At least one member of the Lopez family won a medal at each of the previous three Olympics, starting with the Sydney Games in 2000.

DIVING

Americans Brittany Viola and Katie Bell failed Thursday to qualify for the finals of the women's 10-meter platform diving. Viola's father, Frank Viola, is a retired major league pitcher.

Defending champion Chen Ruolin dominated the semifinals in her bid to restore China to the top of the diving podium after an unexpected loss. Chen was one of only two divers to score more than 80 points with a single dive — but she did it four times — to finish with a total of 407.25 points.

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