The International Olympic Committee 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, of Marblehead, Mass., told CBS’s ‘‘60 Minutes’’ last year that he had repeatedly used performance-enhancing drugs. The IOC asked for documents from the US Anti-Doping Agency before reallocating the medals.
American Bobby Julich will be moved up from bronze to silver, and Michael Rogers of Australia from fourth to bronze.
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.
AIBA eyes changes
The president of amateur boxing’s governing body expects to replace the sport’s computerized scoring system with the traditional professional judging system before the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Wu Ching-Kuo said it’s all part of his plan for Olympic boxing to look more like the pro game. AIBA intends to move to the pros’ 10-point scoring system, which takes into account every aspect of fighters’ skills, not solely their ability to land clean punches. ‘‘We are on the way,’’ Wu said. ‘‘The winner should be the better boxer.’’
The current scoring process is heavily weighed by the quirks of the computerized system, which records a point when a majority of ringside judges push a button indicating a fighter connected with a punch. That system has been widely criticized for warping the sport into something resembling fencing with gloves, de-emphasizing everything from body punches — which don’t usually yield many points — to ring control and even fighters’ charisma.
AIBA also has considered getting rid of headgear for its men’s fights, and Wu is determined to significantly increase the number of women’s boxers in Rio after cramming just 36 into the highly successful debut tournament in London.
Brazil feels weight
Brazil’s men’s soccer team has won four Olympic medals, but none of them gold. The Olympic tournament is the only significant competition the five-time world champions haven’t won — something they are hoping to change Saturday against Mexico.
Having reached its first Olympic final in 24 years, Brazil returned to practice Thursday. The pressure to win was summed up by star Neymar, who said, ‘‘We are here representing all generations of players who tried and were not able to win this tournament before.”
Most of the players who reached the Olympic final will also likely be on the team that will try to give Brazil the World Cup title at home in 2014.
‘‘We can’t worry about the pressure,’’ said striker Leandro Damiao, the tournament’s leading scorer with six goals. ‘‘We all know how much this means to us and to everybody else in Brazil. We have to go out there and do our job and win.’’
Mexico forward Giovani Dos Santos will miss the match because of a right hamstring injury. He will be replaced by Marco Fabian.
Site shut down
Africa Village was supposed to showcase the Olympic best of an entire continent. But the cultural celebration in London’s Kensington Gardens has been forced to shut down five days early in an acrimonious dispute over unpaid bills, organizers said Thursday.
The village was one of the biggest social spots created especially for the London Games. Its Africa Club offered private parties for Africa’s medal-winning athletes, national Olympic committee executives, and corporate sponsors. The bigger Africa Land attracted more than 80,000 visitors enticed by free musical performances and regional cuisine.
But the party came crashing down Wednesday amid bickering between Africa Village’s predominantly French organizers and local suppliers. Mar-Key, the company that supplied the tents and canopies housing each nation’s showcase of food and events, secured a court order blocking access.
The surprise closure left groups from several African nations in the lurch and wondering who would pick up the tab for food they had stockpiled and entertainers they'd booked.
IOC spokesman Mark Adams said he didn’t know whose responsibility it was to ensure that suppliers and vendors were paid.
A great day for sunbathers in London turned out to be a rotten day for Olympic sailing. The men’s 470 medals race was abandoned Thursday because there wasn’t enough wind, and the race was rescheduled for noon Friday. The regularly scheduled women’s 470 medals race is set for 1 p.m. Friday’s forecast looks good for racing . . . The Belgian Olympic Committee told cyclist Gijs van Hoecke to leave the Olympics after photos appeared of him looking drunk and unable to walk while leaving a London nightclub. He was helped into a vehicle by teammates. Van Hoecke, 20, told Belgium media that he regretted what happened, but he was just ‘‘letting off some steam.’’ Van Hoecke did not medal in two events.