Already stripped of his Tour de France titles, Lance Armstrong lost another link to his once-legendary cycling career Wednesday, returning the bronze medal he won at the 2000 Summer Olympics.
Eight months ago, the International Olympic Committee expunged Armstrong’s third-place finish in the men’s time trial in Sydney, and asked for the medal back, after Armstrong admitted using performance enhancing drugs throughout much of his riding career.
But just this week an Olympics official complained that Armstrong still had the medal, which represented his only podium finish in two Olympic games.
On Thursday, Armstrong announced via Twitter that he had returned the hardware.
Armstrong dominated bicycling’s signature race, the Tour de France, from 1999 to 2005, insisting throughout that he did so cleanly
But last October, he was stripped of his seven Tour titles after a report by the United States Anti-Doping Agency called Armstrong a chronic doper who “ruthlessly” made his teammates take drugs as well. In January, Armstrong told Oprah Winfrey that he was, in fact, aided by performance enhancing drugs in all seven Tours.
Armstrong was recently sued by disgruntled readers seeking refunds after buying his autobiographical books — It’s Not About The Bike and Every Second Counts — which bolstered Armstrong’s reputation as a cancer survivor who rose to the top of his profession free from drugs. But this week, a federal judge ruled that Armstrong had a First Amendment right to lie in the works.