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. n222s

    This post is NOT meant to condone his PE useage. However, put yourself in his shoes (again, doesn't mean it was right). If someone said you could potentially make millions if you cheat "a little" (in quotes because I don't think it is a little thing) how many of you would say no? He tarnished the charity, his sport, his family, his teammates, his sponsors. He doesn't deserve one bit of sympathy. But so many people act like THEY would do the right thing if presented with the opportunity. Can you be so sure?

    October 17, 2012 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  2. Sean C

    Lance Armstrong has not participated in a race as a professional cyclist in 5 years. He participated in two as a "celebrity" appearance. I do not understand why are they coming after him now!!! This situation seems fishy!! What evidence do they have and why has it not been announced yet!!! How did this committee make this announcement after the U.S. government with more legal power find no evidence along with the IOC. Some SWEET deals must have been given for testimony!!!

    October 17, 2012 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • rsb

      Armstrong raced the 2010 season. That's not 5 years ago.

      October 17, 2012 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  3. Robert

    A couple of years ago a friend of mine was diagnosed with Cancer. I wasn't sure what I could do to support so I called the Livestrong Foundaton. They told me how I could be a part of their support group. They also sent the girl a nice Livestrong packet with letters of encouragment from Lance Armstrong and others. Lance, you wont read this, but others on this blog will, so, thanks for getting our backs. We got yours. Thanks for being there for those in need.

    Leave it to a government agency to try and dash the hopes of those fighting to live. Shame on the United States Anti Doping Agency!

    October 17, 2012 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Martin

      In England, one TV personality raised tons of money for charities. Of course, I assume you feel that we shouldn't let the fact that he abused children while doing it interfere with the money rolling in. Funny. That's how many felt at the time.

      October 17, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Never cared for him

    Never cared for him personally. I think he showed his true colors when he left his first wife and children – to go in pursuit of money, fame and women. I think he probably only started the initial foundation to gather money for his own treatments and surprisingly it grew into something he wasn't expecting. We've held him in such high esteem for accomplishments that he made under false pretenses. His true character is being exposed now.

    October 17, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  5. Cheryl

    Nike dumps Armstrong over doping rumors but Nike continues to sponsor & use as a spokesperson CONVICTED animal torturer Michael Vick? What a joke!

    October 17, 2012 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  6. Charlie

    If you take away Armstrong's tour de France victories, who do you award them to? Everyone who finishes in the top 100 use performance enhancers. This was a which hunt that singled out only one person when the entire sport is guilty. In fact ALL of sport is guilty. I would have to say that if a woman looks more masculine than most men, she's probably taking performance enhancers.

    October 17, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Not JIF, and please shut up.
      Thanks.

      October 17, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sarah

      It has been stated that they will not be awarded to anyone.

      October 17, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Heisenberg

    Honestly... who cares that he used peds. It's a known fact that it's plagued cycling for years... before and after Lance. If his career has an asterisk next to it, so be it... but the man has done more for cancer research than any other athlete.

    October 17, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phil

      Absolutely. In the end, what is real is the awareness and money raised for research, the Livestrong foundation, all of which will continue to do good. None of that changes. The fact that he was the best and most accomplished cheater (which in a way still makes him the rightful winner of all 7 considering nearly every other podium placer has been guilty) is besides the point. Many careers have been made by persecuting him. Bizarre. All of these "smart" people, journalists, scientists, couldn't they have better spent their time working somewhere more useful? Like Livestrong??

      October 17, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sarah

      But lets not forget that he lied, stole money by suing those that said he had doped, slandered others who said he had doped, and perhaps most important, he perjured himself and may go to jail. He is in for a very long ride from all those that he harmed along the way. Very long. In fact the tour will have seemed more like a spin thru the park when he is done with this one.

      October 17, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • seeingitself

      Just because others doped that means it is ok for him to do it? I think not....

      October 17, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Hollywood

    While i applaud his work for Livestrong, he finally did the right thing by stepping down from his leadership role. No one wants a blood doper at the helm of anything. He is now a poor role model for cycling and other sports enthusiasts.

    October 17, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  9. banasy©

    @Faux JIF:
    Be quite WHAT?

    October 17, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Keith

    Given that he was endorsing Mich Ultra, what could possibly be the worst beer ever produced, it's not a great loss.

    October 17, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  11. banasy©

    *bump*

    October 17, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  12. sly

    Yeah, who cares that Lance Armstrong is a cheatin' liar, because, according to this blog, most American's are.

    Who cares that Ryan Braun was caught red-handed uses PED but won the MVP?
    Who cares that Barry 762 Bonds goes down as the greatest hitter in history?
    Who cares that Roger Clemons won NINE Cy Young's?
    Who cares that the entire Pittsburgh Steeler team was juicin' during their heyday?

    And, yes, why did we witch-hunt Lance when others used PED's?

    Come to think of it, why did we witch-hunt Osama Bin Laden, when there are others out there that do the same thing.

    October 17, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  13. oldpatriot

    I guess ther eis a good reason to no longer buy budweiser or nike, any company without the courage to stand behind their spokesperson does not deserves my business! I havent eaten at subway since the Phelps incident because it showed that they were turncoats

    October 17, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. vdanker

    Apparently, guilty until proven innocent is the new model for American justice.

    October 17, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • sly

      Couldn't agree more.

      It is a shame that we never heard Osama Bin Laden's defence, because quite possibly he was innocent.

      Even if he wasn't innocent, Osama Bin Laden only did what lots of other terrorists were doing (Tim McView, the Indiana Sikh killer, the UniBomber, the Olympic Bomber), and for his own people Bin Laden was a hero, like Lance Armstrong, who contributed lots of money to the Afghanistan people. So, lie Armstrong, maybe we ignore the faults of Bin Laden, and focus on what good he did.

      Not to mention that OBL was of course, innocent until proven guilty, which never happened.

      October 17, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  15. sly

    "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!"

    Ok, so did the greatest baseball player ever. Barry Bonds has done more to help the children and the community than almost all baseball players. Barry is a superhero! Thank you.

    I kinda doubt Lance ever had cancer – he stood to make a lot of money from the foundation, and frankly, I wouldn't believe 1 word the habitual liar says.

    Barry Bonds is God!

    October 17, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      Maybe he got cancer from using drugs?

      October 17, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
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