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. Tiger Woods

    Whew! Sure glad Nike is ok with adultery........

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

      That was my first thought when i read this...

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

      LOL

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

      ... and dog abuse!

      October 17, 2012 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
    • George H

      Haven't been keeping up to date with Lance's personal life have you?

      October 17, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Victor Chief

    Please properly test Serena Williams properly and other tennis player in general. The results will be shocking.

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

      You're so right and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Hockey players?

      October 17, 2012 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
    • oldpatriot

      How about we stop testing all athletes, anyone who wants to can dope and let the winners take the prize. It would be a level playing field. Government and especially congress has no business looking at this, private sports should remain private!

      October 17, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Turf13

      we could watch them all die from steroid side-effects. whee!

      October 18, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Harley306

      Idiotic !

      October 19, 2012 at 6:55 am | Report abuse |
    • James Taylor

      SHe and all the top players are tested and if they get caught same deal for them!

      October 19, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Nanoc

    Why keep up the charity when you no longer need it as a cover for your doping?

    October 17, 2012 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  4. Burnzee

    I don't blame the guy. I would want to get out of the spot light too. After everything he has done, winning 7 consecutive tour de france races, beating cancer, raising millions to fight cancer all to be drug through the mud by a small group of haters that think they have more power than they do, and have more power than they should. Lance is not a cheater no matter what the losers who never accomplished anything in their own lives say. Lance I encourage you to get some rest and have some fun you earned it. When people trash talk you don't let it get to you because you know, and the rest of the world knows you accomplished everything in the right and honest way.

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

      How can you breathe with your head buried in so much sand?

      October 17, 2012 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
    • George H

      "winning 7 consecutive tour de France races." He didn't win any. He cheated. And sadly that means that we will NEVER know how could he might have been cycling clean.

      October 17, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Alex Rodriguez

    Ooooops! Guess I'm next.......

    October 17, 2012 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
  6. Ken

    Carlos....Look at Bradshaw's JAW ?? What does THAT mean !? That JAY LENO is on steroids too !!??

    October 17, 2012 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  7. Mark Sanchez

    Oh no. Guess they are going to can me for misleading them as a quarterback......

    October 17, 2012 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  8. Chris Higgins

    As somebody who has been falsely accused in the past, it is with great regret that I inform Nike that I will boycott their products from this day forward. We are not a society of kangaroo courts or mob rule and the "charges" and "evidence" would never have passed the scrutiny of a real tribunal.

    NIke is the guilty party for giving in to trial by media and is obviously motivated by adding more bottom line to their sweatshop labor.

    October 17, 2012 at 8:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Fargo

      Strange you should feel that way, since Armstrong had a chance to oppose the charges in a real independent arbitration but chose not to. These are the first formal charges, with actual consequences, he has faced in his career. Everything else was just through the media. Maybe if you would bother to look through USADA's reasoned decision, you'd understand why he decided to give up.

      October 17, 2012 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Martimar

      @Fargo He chose not to do the proceedings because it was the same old charges that he has beaten time and time again. Additionally, he was already retired, so why bother. It isn't him admitting guilt, it is him saying you keep charging me for no reason and I am done talking with you. Honestly, how many investigations have they had against him. Even the real courts will only prosecute you once.

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

      Martimar, do you actually read the comments of anyone you argue with? This is the first set of formal charges he has faced. This is the first real investigation against him by the USADA/WADA, and the first time they have sought to punish him. A media circus does not equal a case brought against you by USADA.

      October 17, 2012 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
  9. Josh

    The real villain in all of this, now appears to be Nike.

    Nike stuck with Tiger Woods, and there was actual credible evidence against him.

    October 17, 2012 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  10. us_1776

    Sue 'em Lance.

    All this evidence is totally bogus.

    .

    October 17, 2012 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Fargo

      He's practically up to his neck in perjury as it is, why bury himself even deeper?

      October 17, 2012 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
  11. Michael Vick

    Lance. Come clean buddy. Within 2 years everything will b back to normal....don't give up yet.

    October 17, 2012 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
  12. All are dopers

    Lance is still a world class, one of a kind athlete, and his positives outweigh the negatives. Who else are they going to give the wins to when all of the other top athletes for the last ten years are also implicated in, or have confessed to doping allegations. Lance is still an inspiration for many, and its a shame that people judge a book by its cover, with knee jerk reactions. yeah, likely he did dope, but he sure did a heck of a lot more. Cycling needs to be cleaned up, along with several other professional sports, so one day people can compete without the use of illegal performance enchanting drugs and blood infusions. Sad day for cycling, cancer, and sports in general, hopefully future generations will learn from these mistakes and ultimately clean sport will return.

    October 17, 2012 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  13. Lilian

    If you are not perfect and had made a single mistake in your life, please stop criticize this man who has contributed so much to cancer research......

    October 17, 2012 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jeff Cox

    Smart move. He's done a great job getting his charity off the ground. It's time to disassociate himself from it though. Continued involvement can only hurt those he's trying to benefit.

    That's not a statement on Armstrong's guilt or innocence – that's just a pragmatic view of his situation, something I'm glad that Lance was able to take as opposed to listening to his ego (and something I don't think many celebrities are able to do.)

    My opinion.

    October 17, 2012 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
  15. min

    the man has worked hard leave him alone . I have decided to boycott Nike and living Strong i going to take them off favorites not spend money there wonder if they would like meda in there business im not happy

    October 17, 2012 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Fargo

      He's definitely worked hard at doping and evading drug tests. Whether he deserves to be awarded for that...you're one of the few deluded people who seem to think so.

      October 17, 2012 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Fred

      Totally agree – whether he doped (everyone did) while cycling (who cares) the guy is obviously a liar. Confounds me that this FACT is overlooked by so many. Yes, the foundation has raised a lot of money, and that is great, but the guy is paid big money to represent companies and be a spokesperson role model. While his overcoming Cancer is notable and respectable, he is a LIAR.

      October 17, 2012 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10