First he was stripped of his seven titles in the Tour de France, and now USA Today reports that Lance Armstrong has stepped down from his cancer-fighting charity Livestrong and has been dropped from Nike.
Lance announced he would be stepping down as chairman of Livestrong to “spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career.” “My family and I have devoted our lives to the work of the foundation and that will not change,” Lance said, adding, “We will remain active advocates for cancer survivors and engaged supporters of the fight against cancer.”
Meanwhile, Nike has released a statement that it will remove the cyclist’s name from the Lance Armstrong Fitness Center at its world headquarters saying, “due to the seemingly insurmountable evidence that Lance Armstrong participated in doping and misled Nike for more than a decade, it is with great sadness that we have terminated out contract with him.” Adding, “Nike does not condone the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs in any manner,” but plans to “continue to support the Livestrong initiatives created to unite, inspire and empower people affected by cancer.”
Livestrong CEO Doug Ullman told USA TODAY Sports Wednesday that to his knowledge Nike’s decision was “totally unrelated” to Lance’s decision to step down as Livestrong chairman. Ullman also said that Lance will still participate in the foundation’s events, and that Lance’s term as founding director has no expiration.
All of this comes after the USADA’s investigation of Lance, that included extensive evidence that he had been doping to gain advantage throughout his cycling career. Lance himself continues to deny these claims.