announced he was stepping down as chairman of Livestrong and in a sort of preemptive move, moments later Nike ended their sponsorship with the controversial seven-time Tour de France winner.
The cancer nonprofit organization Lance Armstrong Foundation, commonly known as Livestrong was founded in 1997 and has raised roughly $500 million for cancer based charities. Armstrong recovered from testicular cancer in the early stages of his record breaking career and continues to deny he ever used performance enhancing drugs. He said that he planned to stay involved with the Livestrong organization.
"This organization, its mission and its supporters are incredibly dear to my heart," Armstrong said in a statement "Today therefore, to spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career, I will conclude my chairmanship.
Armstrong said his duties will be transferred to Vice Chairman Jeff Garvey who will serve now as chairman. The Foundation provides free, bilingual patient navigation services to cancer patients/survivors and their families facing financial, practical and emotional challenges. More than 2.5 million people have been served by LIVESTRONG Navigation Services through one-to-one support, printed and online educational materials.
"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.
The statement continues, "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." Livestrong charity was set up to "fight to improve the lives of people affected by cancer."
Meanwhile, Nike issued a statement in their website saying they terminated their contract with Lance Armstrong "due to the seemingly insurmountable evidence that Lance Armstrong participated in doping and misled Nike for more than a decade."
The statement continued: "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." However Nike still continues to support the foundation that Lance has started, "Nike plans to continue support of the Livestrong initiatives created to unite, inspire and empower people affected by cancer.”
Lance Armstrong being a cheater might put dash of shame to millions who considered him cycling hero. However saving people's lives or cheating death through Live Armstrong foundation which raise funds to fight cancer utterly eclipses doping scandal in terms of importance. So, no more cycling hero, but instead Lance is a real hero now in terms of saving lives of others.