Armstrong Gives Back Olympic Bronze Medal

Former American professional cyclist @Lance Armstrong has tweeted that he had given back the bronze medal he won at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

Mark Higgins, who has been a manager and spokesman for Armstrong for several years, handed over the medal to USOC chief executive officer Scott Blackmun at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport and Lance Armstrong declined further comment.

Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee has remarked that it will not reallocate the bronze medal of Armstrong. The IOC follows the same way in which the governing body of cycling decided not to declare any winners for the Tour titles once held by Lance Armstrong. This means Spanish rider Abraham Olano Manzano, who finished fourth in Sydney, will not be upgraded and the bronze medal originally awarded to Armstrong will be left vacant in Olympic records.

Armstrong’s U.S. Postal Service teammate, Vyacheslav Ekimov of Russia, won the gold and Jan Ullrich of Germany won silver. Ekimov was the teammate of Lance Armstrong during the time period in which USADA outlined widespread doping on the team. Ullrich had confirmed in an interview that he used blood-doping treatments during his career. The IOC previously stripped Tyler Hamilton, a former Armstrong teammate, of his time-trial gold medal from the 2004 Olympics after he acknowledged doping.

A spokesman for the U.S. Olympic Committee confirmed the fact that Olympic bronze medal awarded to Armstrong had been returned. Patrick Sandusky said the United States Olympic Committee has received the bronze medal awarded to Lance Armstrong at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. He further remarked the International Olympic Committee and the USOC had previously requested that the medal be returned and the USOC has made arrangements to return the medal to the IOC.

Armstrong was asked to give back the medal after he confessed to using banned performance enhancing drugs throughout his career. The cyclist was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life from cycling. His doping confession came months after the United States Anti-Doping Agency detailed widespread use of performance enhancing drugs by the cyclist and his U.S. Postal Service team.

Lance Edward Armstrong had won the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times between 1999 and 2005 and is the founder of the Livestrong Foundation, originally called the Lance Armstrong Foundation. The cyclist started his career in 1992 as a professional cyclist with the Motorola team. Armstrong was diagnosed in October 1996 with testicular cancer that had spread to his brain and lungs. Lance Armstrong became a professional triathlete at the age of 16 and became national sprint-course triathlon champion in 1989 and 1990 at 18 and 19, respectively. During 1992-96, Armstrong collected the Thrift Drug Triple Crown of Cycling: the Thrift Drug Classic in Pittsburgh, the K-Mart West Virginia Classic, and the CoreStates USPRO national championship in Philadelphia. In 1996, Armstrong became the first American to win the La Flèche Wallonne and again won the Tour DuPont. The cyclist has recorded an aerobic capacity of 83.8 mL/kg/min (VO2 max), which is much higher than the average person (40–50), but less than other winners of Tour de France like Miguel Indurain and Greg LeMond (92.5).

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