Cycling star among list of US sporting celebrities hit by lost property scandal

Yellow jerseys won by Lance Armstrong and vintage footage of the cycling star’s early forays into cycling on his first bicycle are among items seized in bankruptcy proceedings against the Sports Museum of America.

To make matters worse, Lance and other stars who “loaned” personal sporting memorabilia to the Manhattan-based museum, are being asked to pay up if they want their stuff back.

According to a story in the New York Times, the trustee for the creditors of the bankrupt museum, which opened less than a year ago, has asked a federal bankruptcy court judge to charge fees to those who provided it with artefacts.

Fees start at $250 per item and rise to $2,500 for more than 20 pieces, plus $750 for every 10 items above 20.

The museum, in Lower Manhattan, lasted less than a year and filed a Chapter 7 liquidation petition last month, citing $55.5 million in assets and $177.1 million in liabilities, according to the paper.

Schuyler Carroll, a lawyer for the trustee, said the fees were intended to offset the costs of storage, cataloguing, insurance and staff involved in returning the artefacts.

As well as Lance’s jerseys, other items to be consigned to the lost property basket include the black sports bra worn by female US soccer star Brandi Chastain, when she famously whipped her top off after achieving victory in the 1999 World Cup (the top came off, the bra stayed on by the way).

The famous undergarment would cost her $250, plus shipping, to retrieve. While some athletes have reacted with anger to the situation, Ms Chastain took the whole thing in good humour, joking: "Thank goodness I have another one.”