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. liberal disease

    he is a bigger fraud than Barry, well it's close!

    October 17, 2012 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jerry Pelletier

    Wow how the mighty have fallen from grace.....First Obama, now Lance......

    October 17, 2012 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Proud

      I wouldn't call getting re-elected a "fall from grace". So what's the story Jerry?

      October 17, 2012 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
  3. alanjay1

    Say it ain't so, Lance, say it ain't so

    October 17, 2012 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
  4. Vad

    Why is the media making everything this guy does headline news? He already miked his fame for all it was worth (which was a lot) and got away with it. Now every time I see a headline like this it just seems like a desparate attempt to chip away at his fame when in reality it is just keeping him in the headlines. They are about 10 years too late. As for Nike, I am sure they were going to end their assoaciation with this "has been" soon anyway so it doesn't matter. Unless they are going to throw him in jail does it really matter if he steps down from a charity?

    October 17, 2012 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  5. whatever

    He isn't the one that tarnished the sport. It was dirty before that no matter what he may have done.

    October 17, 2012 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
    • seeingitself

      That doesn't make it right...just because other riders used it it is ok for him to do so? I think not...if someone jumps off a cliff do you jump off too?

      October 17, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • zak

      On behalf of the millions out there who detest the "sport" of cycling, I applaud this grand and wonderful development. Thank you, Lance, for showing everybody what it's really about.

      October 18, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  6. BEEZY

    Since when is cancer a community? How about saying "everything he has done for people with cancer".

    October 17, 2012 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Cancer touches Everyone

      Please do not be so naive to think that Cancer just affects the person(s) diagnosed. People's whole lives, friends and families are impacted by a Cancer diagnosis.

      October 17, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  7. herb

    Wondering how contributors to LiveStrong feel. I still believe I gave to a great cause but bitter that I was duped into it by a false leader. Will give more to cancer fight in the future but not in the name of Lance. Recommend that the organization rebrand itself - the LiveStrong brand is permanently tarnished.

    October 17, 2012 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
  8. Helen

    Here, here!

    October 17, 2012 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
  9. shane

    Has it ever been looked into whether or not the cancer he got could have come from the use of hormones and drugs?? I am not saying he deserved cancer, but it made me think. At this point, I do now and will always find this man to be a fraud at every level. He premeditated and purposely cheated, then lied for decades to everyone and STILL hasn't come clean. Cheater & Liars have no place in business, charities o sports. Good Riddance.

    October 17, 2012 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  10. John Deatherage

    Lance Armstrong is a flawed hero but a hero still for his fight against cancer.

    October 17, 2012 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  11. Fargo

    What will he change the subject to now whenever someone brings up his decade of running a doping ring? I guess this means he is finally going away.

    October 17, 2012 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
  12. John Deatherage

    America is the land of 2nd chapters and chances. Lance deserves the opportunity for redemption.

    October 17, 2012 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
    • shane

      No, he blew it 33,457 lies ago!

      October 17, 2012 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
    • George H

      Redemption STARTS with honesty.

      October 17, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. mickey

    The new rubber bracelet will say "Cheat Smart".

    October 17, 2012 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  14. Samia

    What Lance has done to help kids and adults struggling with cancer can not be denied. It takes strength and courage to battle this horrible disease. Lance has shared this with all. Lance is a superhero!

    October 17, 2012 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
    • DemFromSC

      Thank you! I totally agree.

      October 17, 2012 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
    • paulbrownandthekd

      Except Lance GAVE himself cancer with the PED's.

      October 17, 2012 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
    • cope

      I understand Lance wanting to protect Livestrong. This has been a witchhunt for years, I, for one, would like to see their overwhelming evidence.

      October 17, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Marc

      I agree as well. What Lance Armstrong did negatively in cycling is irrelevant to what he has done for those who are suffering. His campaign alone, has raised the mos money for cancer research. I personally think this was a mistake and mostly a PR thing for Nike. Lance Armstrong will start a new campaign in order to raise money and show the rest of the world what he is capable of in the hopes that drugs can cure cancer

      October 17, 2012 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Fred

      It's a bird, it's plane – no – it's SUPER LIAR! Able to lead sheep with latex and colorful clothing! Leap tall lies with sleight of hand and obfuscation! Da Da Da! Let me know when he goes running into a burning building or takes a bullet on a lonely road some night. He used his constructed and fabricated celebrity to raise millions but he got super rich doing it.

      October 17, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  15. nanapay81

    The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency is just what it is, an agency or committee, it's not a court of law where people are judged by their peers. Innocent until found guilty. Has Lance Armstrong been brought before his peers to give his side of the story and to stand up to the accusations that are brought against him? No. The media is who is publishing information before both sides can be relayed as always. Sure, the evidence is there, but Armstrong needs to address it before he is judged. He has denied the accusations through the media, but has it come about in a court of law? He is human and humans make mistakes, people shouldn't "hate". He has done alot for cycling and cancer research, don't forget that. He's not the first person who has been accused of doping, do you "hate" all people who make mistakes?

    October 17, 2012 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Fargo

      He forfeited his chance to face the charges in open arbitration back in August, which is the equivalent of pleading "no contest" to the charges.

      October 17, 2012 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Les

      It's not a 'mistake' when you do it over, and over, and over, and over again – it is a choice.

      October 17, 2012 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Martimar

      He opted to not go thru the investigation because he has been retired (other than small events). That is not the same as pleading "no contest," that is saying that he has faced this charge so many times (and beat it) that he is done dealing with them.

      October 17, 2012 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Fargo

      Martimar, this is the first time he has ever faced formal charges from a doping agency. First time he ever faced charges with real consequences. Everything else was just fought in the media. So no, he has not beat these charges before.

      October 17, 2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
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