Disgraced Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong claimed, via Twitter, that he has returned his bronze Olympic time trial medal to the U.S. Olympic Committee.
On Thursday afternoon, Armstrong took to Twitter, writing, “The 2000 Bronze is back in possession of @usolympics and will be in Switzerland asap to @Olympics.” The tweet was accompanied by a photo of the medal.
Eleven months after a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency investigation into Armstrong’s doping throughout his career resulted in him being stripped of all results from 1998 through 2011, Armstrong returned the bronze medal from the 2000 Sydney Games.
The International Olympic Committee informed Armstrong in January that he had been disqualified, requesting that he return the medal and certificate to the USOC, based in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Shortly after Armstrong’s tweet, another followed, from Patrick Sandusky, chief communications and public affairs officer of the United States Olympic Committee. “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. 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 Sydney time trial was won by Armstrong’s then U.S. Postal Service teammate Viatcheslav Ekimov, of Russia, ahead of German Jan Ullrich. Spaniard Abraham Olano finished fourth. Ullrich has since admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs. Olano 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.
In 2012, the IOC awarded Ekimov the gold medal from the 2004 Olympic time trial after American Tyler Hamilton returned his medal following his doping confession. Australian Michael Rogers was elevated to third place and awarded the bronze.
When Ekimov was awarded the medal, Armstrong took to Twitter with the message, “Congratulations to @eki–ekimov on his 3rd Olympic Gold Medal!!”