America

13 Years Later, Lance Armstrong Returns Olympic Medal

Lance Armstrong celebrates on the podium after winning the bronze medal in the men's individual time trial of the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, on Sept. 30, 2000. On Wednesday, Armstrong returned the medal because of his use of performance enhancing drugs. i i

Lance Armstrong celebrates on the podium after winning the bronze medal in the men's individual time trial of the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, on Sept. 30, 2000. On Wednesday, Armstrong returned the medal because of his use of performance enhancing drugs. Pedro Ugarte/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Pedro Ugarte/AFP/Getty Images
Lance Armstrong celebrates on the podium after winning the bronze medal in the men's individual time trial of the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, on Sept. 30, 2000. On Wednesday, Armstrong returned the medal because of his use of performance enhancing drugs.

Lance Armstrong celebrates on the podium after winning the bronze medal in the men's individual time trial of the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, on Sept. 30, 2000. On Wednesday, Armstrong returned the medal because of his use of performance enhancing drugs.

Pedro Ugarte/AFP/Getty Images

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.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.