Lance Armstrong Will Step Down as Chairman of Livestrong, Gets Dropped By Nike
In the latest bit of fallout from the doping allegations against him, several news outlets are reporting that Lance Armstrong will step down as chairman of the Lance Armstrong Foundation, better known as Livestrong, the Austin-based cancer-fighting charity he helped found in 1997. It was also reported this morning that Nike will be terminating its endorsement deal with the cyclist.
Armstrong at 2008's Tour de Gruene
In a statement on Livestrong obtained by the Associated Press, Armstrong said: "This organization, its mission and its supporters are incredibly dear to my heart. Today therefore, to spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career, I will conclude my chairmanship." Vice-chair Jeff Garvey will take over for him, although Armstrong will remain on the 15-member board.
The announcement comes just a week after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency released thousands of pages detailing their allegations against Armstrong, which included testimony from 11 of his former teammates, emails, lab results, and financial records.
ESPN reports that Nike is terminating its endorsement deal with Armstrong, due entirely to the doping allegations.
In a statement to the network, a Nike spokesperson explained the termination:
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. Nike plans to continue support of the Livestrong initiatives created to unite, inspire and empower people affected by cancer."
A source also tells ESPN that Nike will be changing the name of its Lance Armstrong Fitness Center building, located at Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Ore.
In 2010, the most recent year for which its IRS filings are available, Livestrong brought in more than $42 million in revenue, including $16 million in donations and grants.