Lance Armstrong stepping down from Livestrong charity
October 17th, 2012
03:01 PM ET

Lance Armstrong stepping down from Livestrong charity

Editor's note: Controversial American cyclist Lance Armstrong is stepping down as chairman from his Livestrong cancer charity. The announcement comes a week after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said it had uncovered overwhelming evidence of Armstrong's involvement in a sophisticated doping program. For more information read our full story here.

[Updated at 3:01 p.m. ET] Lance Armstrong is about to lose another sponsorship.

The controversial cyclist will lose his contract with Anheuser-Busch, the brewer of Budweiser, at the end of the year.

 "We have decided not to renew our relationship with Lance Armstrong when our current contract expires at the end of 2012," Paul Chibe, Vice President of U.S. Marketing, Anheuser-Busch said in astatement. "We will continue to support the Livestrong Foundation and its cycling and running events."

[Updated at 12:18 p.m. ET] Nike will take Lance Armstrong’s name off their Nike campus fitness center in Beaverton, Oregon, spokeswoman Mary Remuzz tells CNN.

[Updated at 9:26 a.m. ET] While Lance Armstrong is stepping down as chairman of his charity he is remaining positive about his continued involvement with regard to helping those with cancer.

"My family and I have devoted our lives to the work of the foundation and that will not change," Armstrong said. "We plan to continue our service to the foundation and the cancer community. We will remain active advocates for cancer survivors and engaged supporters of the fight against cancer. And we look forward to an exciting weekend of activities marking the 15th anniversary of the foundation's creation."

Armstrong will continue to help without the backing of his partners at Nike. Fifteen days ago he posted on his Facebook page:

"Had a great coupla days in Portland working with my great partners Nike. Awesome to see the show of support on livestrongday. 16 yrs!" he wrote. "Headed back 2 Austin now 2 celebrate with family/friends. There were days I never thought I'd see 2012. Blessed to be this side of the grass."

As of this update, the status had 10,911 "likes." Armstrong's most recent tweet, from five days ago, praised the work of Livestrong.

[Updated at 8:52 a.m. ET] Lance Armstrong's commitment to helping others with cancer has been a big reason the Livestrong was able to raise so much money over the years, Doug Ulman, President and CEO of the charity said in a statement.

"Long before he became a household name, Lance Armstrong created a foundation to serve others facing the same fears and challenges he struggled to overcome as a result of his cancer diagnosis. Today, thanks to Lance's leadership, that foundation has had the privilege of raising close to $500 million to serve people affected by cancer.

Lance has made this foundation and its cause - aiding people whose lives have been touched by this disease - his life's work. His leadership in the cancer community has spurred immeasurable progress and it has been a great privilege to work shoulder to shoulder with him on a daily basis during his chairmanship.

We are grateful to Jeff Garvey for assuming the responsibilities of chairman. Jeff has been a guiding presence for Livestrong for 15 years and we look forward to a seamless transition under his leadership and a continued strong focus on our core values and mission.

Lance's devotion to serving others whose lives were irrevocably changed by cancer, as his was, is unsurpassable. We are incredibly proud of his record as an advocate and philanthropist and are deeply grateful that Lance and his family will continue to be actively involved with the Foundation's advocacy and service work. We look forward to celebrating 15 years of progress with Lance and his family this weekend and recommitting ourselves to the work of the cancer community for the years ahead."

[Updated at 8:47 a.m. ET] Lance Armstrong is stepping down as chairman of the Livestrong charity "to spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career," according to a statement posted to the group's website.

Armstrong added that he will still devote his life to the work of the foundation and remain advocates for cancer survivors.

The controversial cyclist's full statement was posted on the Livestrong website:

"In 1996, as my cancer treatment was drawing to an end, I created a foundation to serve people affected by cancer. It has been a great privilege to help grow it from a dream into an organization that today has served 2.5 million people and helped spur a cultural shift in how the world views cancer survivors. This organization, its mission and its supporters are incredibly dear to my heart.

I am deeply grateful to the people of the foundation who have done such hard and excellent work over the last 15 years, building tangible and effective ways to improve the lives of cancer survivors. And I am deeply humbled by the support our foundation has received from so many people throughout the world - survivors, world leaders, business leaders and of course, the cancer community itself. We turn to this community frequently for guidance and collaboration to achieve our shared goals. They are unfailingly generous with their wisdom and counsel and I can never thank them enough.

I have had the great honor of serving as this foundation's chairman for the last five years and its mission and success are my top priorities. Today therefore, to spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career, I will conclude my chairmanship.

My duties will transfer to Vice Chairman Jeff Garvey who will serve as chairman. Jeff's guidance and wisdom have been critical to shaping the foundation's work since its earliest days. Jeff was this organization's founding chairman and I have full confidence that under his leadership, the foundation will continue expanding its ability to serve cancer survivors.

My family and I have devoted our lives to the work of the foundation and that will not change. We plan to continue our service to the foundation and the cancer community. We will remain active advocates for cancer survivors and engaged supporters of the fight against cancer. And we look forward to an exciting weekend of activities marking the 15th anniversary of the foundation's creation."

[Updated at 8:22 a.m. ET] Nike has just released a statement saying they have terminated their contract with Lance Armstrong for misleading them for more than a decade.

"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 our contract with him. Nike does not condone the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs in any manner," the statement on Nike's website reads. "Nike plans to continue support of the Livestrong initiatives created to unite, inspire and empower people affected by cancer.

[Posted at 8:12 a.m. ET] Controversial American cyclist Lance Armstrong is stepping down as chairman of his Livestrong charity, which was set up to "fight to improve the lives of people affected by cancer."

The move comes a week after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said it had uncovered overwhelming evidence of Armstrong's involvement in a sophisticated doping program while a professional cyclist.

Armstrong found out he had testicular cancer at age 25 when he was emerging as a rising star among cyclists. He started a small group to raise money for cancer called the Lance Armstrong Foundation in 1997. 84 million bright yellow Livestrong wristbands have been distributed since 2004.

In the wake of the doping scandal critics have struck out the "V" in the bracelet to make it read what they accuse Armstrong of doing for more than a decade: "LIE STRONG."

Read more about the scandal involving Armstrong here:

Armstrong give up doping fight, says it's time to move forward

The Armstrong report

Evidence against Armstrong 'overwhelming,' agency says

soundoff (266 Responses)
  1. sly

    Ironic.

    The French were 100% correct.
    Jose Canseco was 100% correct.

    But, Nixon and Armstrong really are crooks.

    October 17, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. su3385

    How sad! If you have years of "clean" drug tests it doesn't matter! you must have used PED's because some drug-test failing junky points the finger at you.

    Even more – shame on the media for perpetuating this witch-hunt. Must be a slow news year and you had no one else's character to destroy!

    October 17, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Martin

      Read the report. He did not have years of clean tests. Drugs were found in his samples. The UCI ruled those tests out of bounds.

      October 17, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Rick

    Doping distracts people from drinking. – Busch

    October 17, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Rick

    Who was the braniac who started comparing this Armstrong stuff to Bin Laden?

    October 17, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Skeptic

    Armstrong saying that, “he and Mr. Bruyneel flew to the UCI
    headquarters and made a financial agreement to keep the positive test hidden.”248

    October 17, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ibetyou

    whoever has never lied, cheated, or is perfect cast the first stone. Otherwise, let us all consider when we fall.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Martin

      Well, I haven't doped, bullied, cheated, threatened, intimidated, destroyed reputations, and – um – lied about doing so. So I guess I can chuck that stone.

      October 17, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • jenniferholland

      no one is persecuting this man for not being perfect; of course people make mistakes but this is a case of a man who in his zeal to be considered 'great' lied, cheated and manipulated in his endeavor for that greatness. He knowingly deceived his fans and the racing organizations and collected hefty prize money and endorsement deals in that deception. What if it was determined he also lied about having cancer to gain sympathy and publicity? Does the continued support of this man by some of us mean we can engage in this type of behavior as long as the end result is we win? I think we are all diminished by this and should not accept it from Armstrong or anyone found to have willfully and knowingly defrauded people and organizations by not representing themselves or their efforts honestly. Would we be interested in watching races we knew the results were not 100% the participants effort? For my money, I don't want to watch people engaging in sport contests where they are using enhancements of any kind – I could put a concealed mini motor on the back of my bike and win a Tour de France – actually it appears Lance could have done that even and would still have the support of some people desperate to hold on to the illusion he created. That to me is the worst aspect about the man; he had a chance to answer the allegations once and for all for the sake of his fans if no one else and he declined leaving his bewildered fans to fight for him while he stays silent – that speaks volumes about his character.

      October 19, 2012 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • James Taylor

      HE went beyond that this is not the normal lying and cheating and change your ways. HE NEVER DID!! He got finally caught. He took away the glory, fame and $$$ from all of those men who always came on second. Also I dont want our children learning that to be a winner you must dope first. Is like saying be a doctor but lie and cheat at school to make it. THAT IS WRONG!!

      October 19, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. yeld

    If he injected human growth hormone (common enhancement drug), then he could have essentially given himself cancer. Most cancerous cells are destroyed by our immune systems pretty quickly. But HGH helps accelerate the growth of cancerous cells. At the very best, his performance enhancement drugs probably made his existing cancer worse.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  8. K. Duron

    Joey Chestnut is probably doping it up too, I can just imagine his fall from grace once they figure what all he has been doing to reign supreme. DOWN WITH JOEY!!

    October 17, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Guest

    By resigning, Lance is protecting the foundation from suits, so it can continue it's work. Very understandable. The foundation does a lot of good work.

    October 17, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Turf13

      the "foundation" spends nothing on research or helping those with cancer. what it does is say "lance is good, cancer bad." it's basically a non-profit PR firm for armstrong.

      if you want to help fight cancer, give to a real charity like the american cancer society.

      October 18, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. George H

    If you are ever sick of bad guys winning in your life, in your workplace, in your personal life, in the marketplace, with your investment money, I can't think for the hell of me why you are supporting the bad guy winning in this area. Either you like people to have ethics and morality or you don't, If you don't, don't complain when they do YOU wrong.

    October 17, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
  11. steel balloons

    He should be forced to return all the money that has been rewarded him. He gained that money through fraudulent means (doping and lying).

    October 18, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. RMOC

    Lance was never positive in many test's, it's like a friend saying ..we left the bar he was drunk driving 5 years ago on 9 eleven at 09.08am i'm sure 100 percent....

    October 18, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • zak

      RMOC, what in the wide, wide world of sports are you trying to say? I have no idea, because your writing is so garbled and unintelligible. So don't expect me or anybody else to lend credence to whatever you did say if they ever happen to figure it out. And it's "tests", not "test's". Plural nouns don't have apostrophes, only possessives.

      October 18, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • James Taylor

      SO was Marion JOnes and Hincapide.

      October 19, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  13. MTS

    All those cyclists in Europe have been doping for years. It would be naive and just plain stupid not to believe that those who run the TDF didn't know anything about it. I know someone who went over there to race and came back disillusioned that as he put it "everyone over there is doping". So, I still say that it has been somewhat of a witch hunt becaue why only Lance? Why not look at samples from Miguel Indurain, Bernard Hinault or Eddy Merckx. To be fair they shoud be investigating everyone. But they aren't. They needed a scapegoat to try and show they are cleaning up their sport. Unfortunately, it still goes on and is not going to stop until they come up with proven testing for ALL participants.

    October 18, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Amy

    Nike and Anheuser-Busch still support losers like Michael Vick and Tiger Woods. This is all about the almighty dollar.

    October 19, 2012 at 7:51 am | Report abuse |
  15. Shoppster

    Lance took away winning moments from people who worked hard and deserved to win. He is a cheat and a liar. He deserves to have all the tour wins relinquished. It's rude what he has personally done to those he stole wins from illegally. Did he even say he's sorry to those people? no. He doesn't care.

    October 19, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
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