Photo: Kristian Dowling/Getty Images
Lance Armstrong has stepped down as chairman of the Lance Armstrong Foundation on the same day that Nike terminated his contract in the face of “seemingly insurmountable” doping allegations.Armstrong will remain on the 15-member board, the AP reports, but stepped down as chairman “to spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding [his] cycling career.”
Here’s his statement:
“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 organisation that today has served 2.5 million people and helped spur a cultural shift in how the world views cancer survivors. This organisation, 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 honour 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.”
The announcement came minutes before Nike announced that it was cutting ties with Armstrong. The company said in a statement that it will continue to support the cancer-fighting charity.
Darren Rovell of ESPN reports that Nike and Livestrong has raised $80 million on the sale of Livestrong bracelets since 2004. The charity on the whole has raised $480 million to fight cancer since 1997.
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