September 12 - Disgraced American cyclist Lance Armstrong has returned the Olympic bronze medal he won in the time trial at Sydney 2000, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) confirmed today.
"The 2000 Bronze is back in possession of @usolympics and will be in Switzerland asap to @olympics," Armstrong said on his official Twitter account, in a post that also included a photograph of the medal in question.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) informed Armstrong that he was being stripped of the medal in January this year after the International Cycling Union (UCI) disqualified all of his results, including the seven Tour de France titles the athlete had claimed from 1999-2005, following his public admission to using performance enhancing drugs during his career.
The USOC's chief communications officer Patrick Sandusky confirmed that the medal had been handed back.
"I can confirm that the United States Olympic Committee has received the bronze medal awarded to Lance Armstrong at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney," he said.
"The International Olympic Committee and the USOC had previously requested that the medal be returned.
"The USOC has made arrangements to return the medal to the IOC."
The move comes just days after newly elected IOC President Thomas Bach made comments about the medal.
"What we are lacking - sadly but I hope we can still come to the result - is just getting back the medal," he said on Sunday (September 8) ahead of his election on Tuesday (September 10).
"But legally the case for the IOC is closed."
Similarly to how the UCI did not reallocate the Tour de France titles previously held by Armstrong, the IOC has said it will not award the Olympic bronze medal to the race's fourth place finisher, Abraham Olano of Spain - who, incidentally, recently lost his job as technical director of the Vuelta a España after a French Senate investigation found that his urine samples from the 1998 Tour showed evidence of EPO use.
The Sydney 2000 time trial bronze medal position will be left vacant in Olympic records.
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]
January 2013: Armstrong stripped of Sydney 2000 Olympic medal
December 2012: Duncan Mackay - If the IOC strips Armstrong of his Olympic medal then they are being unfair to Sharron Davies and history's other cheated athletes
November 2012: IOC should be allowed to strip Armstrong of Olympic medal says Executive Board member
November 2012: Exclusive - Olympic medal or not, Armstrong's credibility is gone, says senior IOC member Fasel
November 2012: IOC to investigate Armstrong doping scandal