Winter Olympics 2010

Olympian Scotty Lago Heads Home After Photo Controversy

02/20/2010 at 04:00 PM EST

Olympian Scotty Lago Heads Home After Photo Controversy
Scotty Lago
Morry Gash/AP
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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