AUSTIN, Texas, September 12. AFTER nearly a year of media calling for Lance Armstrong to give up his bronze medal from the 2000 Olympics (including such a request from Swimming World), the disgraced cyclist has sent the medal to the U.S. Olympic Committee.
Armstrong sent a Tweet today announcing his decision, complete with a photograph of the medal he won in the time trial cycling event in Sydney:
The 2000 Bronze is back in possession of @usolympics and will be in Switzerland asap to @olympics. http://t.co/IxwLy4KD1f– Lance Armstrong (@lancearmstrong) September 12, 2013
The medal appeared to be the only major award that Armstrong owned in the months since admitting to using steroids during his magical years of winning the Tour de France from 1999 to 2005. He was stripped of his Tour de France wins, and subsequently lost many sponsorships, as well as his place on the board of Livestrong, the foundation he helped create to raise money and awareness for cancer research.
In the middle of the controversy, Armstrong entered to swim in a Masters swimming meet in April. FINA quickly responded, saying they condone Armstrong’s participation in accordance with Armstrong’s ban from the World Anti-Doping Agency. U.S. Masters Swimming, who is a member of FINA and therefore upholds any decision by WADA, revoked Armstrong’s participation in the meet, but Armstrong had already withdrawn his entries.
It’s unclear if the International Olympic Committee will award the medal to fourth-place finisher Abraham Olano.