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. Sparrow

    >Al Sharpton

    Al Sharpton? How does he fit into this? You must be thinking of someone else.

    October 17, 2012 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
  2. blahblah

    Will Lance forfeit any future royalties to be received from his cameo appearance in the movie Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story?

    October 17, 2012 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
  3. Nike

    Good thing, my next step was to dump Nike....

    October 17, 2012 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
  4. WhoCares

    When will stories about athletes using performance enhancing drugs stop being "breaking news"!?!?!?

    October 17, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  5. Sasha

    First of all there are people in this world who would do anything to get back at someone. So all the team members could be lying. With that being said..... I still believe in Lance Armstrong. I want a court of law and a trial that places him guilty before I will withdraw my support. Nike sucks anyways so who cares who their spokesman is........

    October 17, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
    • fox

      You are so correct. What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty. That requires evidence not "hear say"

      October 17, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      Well said Sasha!

      October 17, 2012 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
    • aardman

      Let's get this straight okay? First person accounts of what you did, and what you saw other people do, is NOT hearsay evidence. When a person says this is what I saw Lance do or this what Lance told me to do –that is NOT hearsay evidence.

      October 17, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
    • tom counts

      i agree with sasha... but lets go further.... boycott nike........extreme yes but wrong is wrong

      October 17, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
    • JetfireK

      This reminds us of the Wall Street debacle. Do we get our money back for the expensive clothes and accessories that we purchased for our children? And is there another company vying to take Livestrongs place. Has Livestrong been bought out?
      No one would push this hard without a money making reason considering that there was no investigation into 911 and we have 3,000 dead

      October 17, 2012 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Maddie

      Sasha, The only reason you won't see Lance in court is because he refuses to go. The evidence is so overwhelmingly against him that he can't deny the charges anymore so instead of fighting he makes up this BS story up about being too tired and frustrated by all the false allegations. The only thing I'm so surprised by is how many people still think is innocent of using performance enhancers!

      October 17, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  6. fox

    USDA.......show me the evidence that he himself was involved in this great deception and I don't me just mean any "hear say"

    October 17, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
    • dloc502

      Read the report – it's 25 witnesses PLUS financial transactions AND blood profiles.

      October 17, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Fargo

      USDA? Is Lance selling off his steroid-laced tissues as steaks and organ meat?

      October 17, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  7. Chuck

    All over hearsay.. he didn't fail one test. His team was threatened with disbarment if they didn't testify against him. It was a witch hunt. I'm done with watching cycling. I used to watch the tour and follow it , now I just don't care about the sport anymore. How about just letting the cyclist use whatever they want as long as it's legal to obtain. The perceived advantages of using EPO and testosterone are in fact actually very limited. It's more of a mental crutch than something that actually significantly improves performance.

    October 17, 2012 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
    • George H

      Eye wintness testimony is NOT hearsay. If you are going to play fake lawyer, at least learn the terms first.

      October 17, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Chuck

    How about just letting the cyclist use whatever they want as long as it's legal to obtain. The perceived advantages of using EPO and testosterone are in fact actually very limited. It's more of a mental crutch than something that actually significantly improves performance.

    October 17, 2012 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  9. Joe M

    He's done a lot of good for people with cancer – that makes him a hero. He's lied consistently for over a decade and implicated others to cover up his lies. He's masqueraded as a sports hero, and hurt and betrayed a lot of people in the process. That makes him a jerk. Both things are true. He's done both good and bad things – that makes him human. The good he's done does not in any way make the lies more palatable, acceptable or right, in my view. So what is he? He's both a hero and a jerk. Not one or the other. We don't like our heroes to have flaws because we don't like to see our own.

    October 17, 2012 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  10. Peace

    OH Come ON! We do not have all the details, investigation results, or a myriad of necessary information to pass judgement Can't we just appreciate all the good he has done and the excitement he brought to the sport of cycling? Geesh! Does it matter in our little worlds if he doped? Are we beyond reproach, temptation, or judgement from others??? Let the story play itself out, and we can move on to more important things in this world.

    October 17, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  11. Lori

    Everyone needs to stop and remember that who are we to judge what he did or did not do. He will be judged by the one and only (GOD). Lance has done many good thinks for people with cancer. I say keep up the GREAT WORK!!!

    October 17, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  12. in the know

    i know for a fact the he used EPO. i knew lance around 2000-2001 as well as gregg lemond as i have been friends with gregg's son geoff for years. it's about time that lance gets what he deserves. he put so much stress on geoff's family up to and including death threats.

    October 17, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Sasha

      Hey in the know....

      I dont believe lance armstrong made death threats against another family. if that were true then they should have filed a police report and he would have been arrested.

      October 17, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • in the know

      @Sasha
      actually he did attempt to file charges and there are actually plenty of news articles which are accessible via google. i attempted to post the links however cnn blocked the post

      October 17, 2012 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  13. Blaine

    From all the cancer survivors and those who love your spirit, we love you Lance!

    October 17, 2012 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  14. Paul T

    @ Swimmer: take away 1st place and 2nd doped too. So did 3rd and so on. It's the management pushing the drugs. However, LA is most likely not being honest. I still belive in innocent until proven guilty.

    October 17, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • aardman

      Armstrong refused to formally contest the evidence presented. Guilty by default.

      October 17, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Fargo

      1000 pages of evidence in the USADA's reasoned decision and nearly every teammate he ever shared a needle with testifying against him. How much more proof do you need? There isn't going to be any trial by jury because these are not criminal charges.

      October 17, 2012 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  15. moni

    Doper...

    October 17, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
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