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Olympian Scotty Lago Heads Home After Photo Controversy


Scotty Lago, winner of the bronze medal in the men’s halfpipe snowboarding event Wednesday, voluntarily left the Winter Olympics Friday after risqué photos of a woman kissing and biting the medal surfaced in the media.

The free-spirited Lago, 22, was snapped with his bronze medal around his waist and the hardware hung over his groin area, allowing a woman to kiss it on a public street late Thursday in Vancouver.

A second shot shows the woman biting the medal, but this time Lago is holding it up by the logo on his Team USA T-shirt.

Lago apologized to the U.S. Olympic Committee and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, which required athletes to attend a special ambassador program prior to the games to avoid potential publicity nightmares.

“Scotty Lago is a great athlete, but with that comes a responsibility of proper conduct, and his involvement in this situation is not acceptable,” said Association President and CEO Bill Marolt in a statement. “Scotty realizes his conduct was inappropriate. He has formally apologized and also made a decision to leave Vancouver today.”

So far, officials have taken no action against the Seabrook, N.H., native.

The photos were published on the TMZ Web site.
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