Once the International Cycling Union agreed with the findings of the United States Anti-Doping Agency and stripped Lance Armstrong of his Tour de France titles and banned him from the sport for life for doping, it was only a matter of time until the matter of Armstrong’s Olympic medal would be addressed.
Now, the International Olympic Committee has said it ”will now immediately start the process concerning the involvement of Lance Armstrong, other riders and particularly their entourages with respect to the Olympic Games and their future involvement with the games.” Levi Leipheimer, who won a bronze medal in the time trial at the 2008 Beijing Games and has admitted to doping, is also an IOC target.
Compared with the loss of his reputation and sponsors and the fact that he had to step down as chairman of his Livestrong cancer foundation, the bronze medal Armstrong won in a time trial in the 2000 Sydney Olympics is important for signifying just how far the globally-respected athlete has fallen. The latest sign? An effigy of him will be burned during the Bonfire Night celebrations in Edenbridge, England, this weekend.
The, shall we say, reasonable facsimile of Armstrong will be torched as part of the annual Nov. 5 commemoration of Guy Fawkes’ unsuccessful plot to blow up Parliament in 1605. Towns mark the occasion by lighting bonfires and setting off fireworks. Of late, effigies of Fawkes have been replaced with modern figures. Last year’s Edenbridge “honoree” was Mario Balotelli, the Manchester City soccer player whose friend set off fireworks in his bathroom and caused a fire at his house. In 2010, Edenbridge chose Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney.
As for Armstrong, who has always denied doping, how’s he doing? Fairly well, it sounds like:
Alive and well in Hawaii.
— Lance Armstrong (@lancearmstrong) October 29, 2012
Photos: Gallery of Armstrong’s career