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Maggie Hendricks

Snowboarder Lago heads home early after party pics surface

Maggie Hendricks
Fourth-Place Medal

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Scotty Lago, welcome to the age of cell-phone cameras and TMZ.

The snowboarding bronze medalist has voluntarily headed home early from Vancouver after embarrassing pictures of him at a party wearing both his medal and his Team USA gear appeared on the Internet. From the Associated Press:

... Somebody snapped a photo of a woman kneeling below Lago’s waist to kiss his medal. That picture, and another showing him sticking the medal in the woman’s mouth while teammate Greg Bretz looks on, appeared Friday on the TMZ Web site.

Lago apologized to the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association and U.S. Olympic Committee, who has made athletes' behavior a priority after a few recent incidents painted U.S. athletes in a negative light.

Beijing Olympics golden child Michael Phelps had pictures published last year of him engaging in "regrettable behavior" with a pipe, something for which he later apologized. And in 2006, aerial skier Jeret "Speedy" Peterson was thrown out of the Games after getting into a bar fight.

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