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. kelly

    yeehaa....makin' austin proud!

    October 17, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  2. back the USA

    Love how we continue fight and support our own USA.
    He was icon inspire and I was support from the beginning year ago and thought he was special.
    If he is from another country people will roasted every board and server will be crash.

    Finally accepted.

    October 17, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  3. BookmanIN

    Congrats you finally got him. The only name anyone has ever cared about in your sport. Instead of using his celebrity to grow your sport for the future, wait you actually did do that until you didnt think you needed him anymore, you decide to destroy the reputation of the man who legitimized your sport. Maybe he did cheat bu he wasnt the only one, and that levels the playing field a bit. He will be forgiven for the cancer research and awareness he has helped to bring about but your sport will never coe back from obscurity and the margins of the newspaper...at least not here in America. So again, Congratulations

    October 17, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
    • eooe

      So the end justifies the mean? You have an odd way of thinking.

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

      Cycling rode the Armstrong publicity horse long and hard throughout the 2000's, particularly in North America. If you're giving up on cycling now that your retired hero has been shown to be a fraud, you never were a fan in the first place. Cycling never was in need of "legitimization" to please people like you.

      October 17, 2012 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Romney The Bully

      Lance Armstrong "...legitimized the sport....?" How did he do that? By polluting it with a culture of winning by cheating? By making his career a complete lie and fabrication. By embarrassing the United States for a generation? By doing more than anyone in history to turn cyclingt into a cesspool of drugs, doping, and blood manipulation?

      Ha, ha....ha ha,.....HA HAH HAH, gafaw, gafaw, rofl, rofl, LMFAO!!!!!!!

      October 17, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  4. BookmanIN

    Sorry for the typos I was in a hurry lol

    October 17, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  5. Chaz

    Armstrong couldn't care less. He's made millions from his cheating, so it was all worth it. Can't take that from him.

    October 17, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  6. Well...

    I will always support Lance, so far the only "proof" is people's assumptions, no actual physical evidence. I will not jeprodize my integirty to support a lynch mob of haters with no actual proof of any crime/cheating.

    October 17, 2012 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Fargo

      Read the USADA's reasoned decision – there are failed tests and a paper trail. I know you won't, because you apparently enjoy the taste of sand.

      October 17, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Well...

      Fargo – I will look at any "proof" you want me to, as long as it is ligitmate proof, there is a difference. and if they have actual physical proof of failed tests, then explaine to me why they waited 10 years to take action, I call BS! If he truly failed tests then he wouldn't have been allowed to race in the first place... correct? That's what I thought!

      October 17, 2012 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  7. sir

    adios nancy boy

    October 17, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  8. Jen

    Lance is the epitome of the opposite of what a champion is. He gets away with it because he’s a cancer survivor.

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

    If I were the Federation I would spend more time on perfecting my testig methods since they couldn't get a positive test on someone though they administered over 500 of them. Talk about incompetence.

    October 17, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  10. Steve

    If you want proof, go to usada.org or if you would like to hear it from Tyler Hamilton, read or listen to The Smart Race. Once you've done either of those, your opinion will change radically. I used to be a Lance fan too until the evidence was so damning that there was no way to look the other way.

    October 17, 2012 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
    • CLisium

      Just finished the book myself. Pan Y Agua for Lance would have meant back at Peloton. Hey, can anyone order me up a couple of BBs?

      October 17, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
    • ProBroBike

      Lance, Lance, Lance. Time to start rethinking the plan.

      October 17, 2012 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • CHOAD

      Lance is the CHOAD now. Chump and Toad guy who has zero balls to tell the truth. LanceSucks is the new bracelet.

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

      Ever wonder with LeMond hated the guy? Well, now we know. Thanks Greg, wish others would have listened to you a long time ago.

      October 17, 2012 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  11. polynikes

    I've read the report and they allege that there were failed tests and Armstrong paid for them to be destroyed. So how many of these alleged failed tests out of 500? less than 10. You don't have to be a defender of Armstrong to think the Federation is a bunch of incompetent , vindictive boobs.

    October 17, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  12. ChazMan

    I wonder how much Lance's stepping down was influenced by Nike's continued support. I can understand how Nike doesn't want to be associated with dopers/cheaters but they dare not pull the plug on Livestrong as that would be awful PR. I was also one of those who asked about the physical evidence and how he could pass all those tests. But as the affidavits show, they (Lances team) were able to hide any physical evidence and they did it quite well.

    October 17, 2012 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  13. Portland tony

    Who are we to determine what's cheating in professional entertainment (sports)? The individual sports organizations determine what's legal and what's not. There are no "governmental laws" that govern pro entertainment. Professionals perform for money. Whether its football, baseball, cycling, tennis, or horse shoes. What's legal in one decade, maybe illegal the next. As long as some people will pay to watch them entertain ...it's just show-biz.

    October 17, 2012 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  14. For Christ!

    I guess coming against God has it's downfalls! You said you didn't believe in him and he didn't help you fight cancer..... Hmmmmm... Maybe you should of prayed!

    October 17, 2012 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  15. polynikes

    Screw Nike too. They continue to stick with Tiger Woods whose transgressions include both actions outside and inside the sport. He also claims its just a coincidence that his Doctor is notorious for doping and convicted of same.

    October 17, 2012 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
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