Lago leaves Olympics after party pictures

American halfpipe bronze medalist Scotty Lago volunteered to leave the Olympics on Friday after risque pictures of him showed up on the Internet.

Lago, who was awarded his bronze medal Thursday night, was at a party, wearing a Team USA T-shirt when 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 website.

Lago apologized to officials at the U.S. Olympic Committee and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association and decided to go home.

In the aftermath of several out-of-competition incidents in Turin, one of which resulted in the dismissal of freestyle skier Jeret Peterson, the USOC has made extra efforts to emphasize athletes be on their best behavior. Before the Beijing Games, the USOC began its "Ambassador Program" that athletes are made to complete before they travel to the games.

Ammann's bindings get the go-ahead

Swiss ski jumper Simon Ammann playfully turned his skis around to hide the bindings from the TV camera following another awesome training jump.

The normal-hill winner was still smiling 90 minutes later when he was assured he can keep using the modified bindings, which anchor his boots to his skis.

The International Ski Federation on Friday dismissed Austrian complaints that Ammann's bindings violated regulations and gave him an unfair edge, clearing him to keep using the equipment in Saturday's large hill event.

Normal bindings use an elastic strap at the back to keep the boot in place. In the Swiss version, the boot is attached to a curved iron stick that bends forward as the jumper leans his body almost parallel to his skis.

ASSOCIATED PRESS