Lance Armstrong has returned his bronze medal from Sydney Olympics to the US Olympic Committee (USOC) nine months after he was stripped of it, USOC confirmed on Thursday (as briefly reported in the CM edition of The Telegraph on Friday).
The disgraced cyclist won the medal — his only Olympic success — in the road time trial in 2000. He tweeted a photo of the medal along with the message: “The 2000 Bronze is back in possession of @usolympics and will be in Switzerland asap.” The return of the medal was later confirmed in a statement from the USOC.
The American lost his seven Tour de France titles last year and in January admitted to years of performance-enhancing substance use in the most spectacular drugs case in sporting history. Following his public confession, the IOC ordered the return of the bronze medal and declared that the position of third place in that race would remain unawarded. As a result of Armstrong’s cheating, the seven Tours de France between 1999 and 2005 will also go down in history without a winner.
Thomas Bach, who was elected president of the International Olympic Committee on Tuesday, had said the previous day the organisation was still seeking the medal. “We will continue to work with the United States Olympic Committee to get this medal back as requested in our decision,” said Bach, who was previously an IOC vice president and head of its juridical commission.
“This (the IOC’s January) decision has been communicated to Mr Armstrong and the USOC. This decision has not been appealed neither by Mr Armstrong, nor by the USOC and what we are lacking, sadly, is getting back the medal. Legally the case for the IOC is closed.”