A very bad morning for Lance Armstrong
It was more bad news for disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong Wednesday: he stepped down as chairman of his cancer charity Livestrong, was canned by former sponsor Nike and may be stripped of his Olympic medal, all amid last week’s evidence that he used performance-enhancing drugs.
Storified by Maclean’s Magazine · Wed, Oct 17 2012 07:11:35
Armstrong made the surprise announcement that he would step down as chairman Wednesday morning, but said he would remain on as a board member. In a statement, he 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.”
Official statement: @LanceArmstrong to Step Down as Chairman of @LIVESTRONG http://bit.ly/P9E17OLIVESTRONG
Nike followed with its own announcement, moments later.
Nike Statement on Lance ArmstrongRead the latest NIKE, Inc. news and press releases, search for jobs, find stock information and learn about corporate responsibility.
In the a short statement on its website, Nike wrote: “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.”
The Nike decision comes a day after a NY Daily News story, saying that Nike may even have played a role in the doping scandal.
Nike may have had impact on Lance Armstrong scandal, possibly involved in what USADA called ‘most sophisticated’ doping program everNike raised eyebrows from the French Alps to Oregon’s Cascade Range last week when it announced that it was standing by Lance Armstrong, …
Marathoner Paula Radcliffe weighed in on those allegations.
A lot of people were deceived. The Nike I know represents the spirit and ideals of true athletes and would never condone doping. …Paula Radcliffe
Up until Wednesday’s announcement, Armstrong had maintained that he was focusing on his Livestrong charity. Even last week, as the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency released more damning evidence, Armstrong put out these tweets:
Hanging @LIVESTRONGHQ w/ the team talking about next week’s events and plans for 2013. Can’t wait to see so many friends and supporters.Lance Armstrong
What am I doing tonight? Hanging with my family, unaffected, and thinking about this. http://bit.ly/Po6mXT #onwardLance Armstrong
Also on Wednesday, there were reports that Armstrong could be stripped of his Olympic bronze medal.
Armstrong may lose Olympic bronzeThe IOC will wait for cycling’s governing body to act on Lance Armstrong’s doping case before it considers taking away his Olympic bronze…
It was just too much for some Armstrong fans, who tore off their yellow bracelets in disgust.
#LIVEWRONG http://pic.twitter.com/0fcLMv3XMatt Evans
Into the trash you go.. #LiveWrong #Fraud http://lockerz.com/s/253815185Ali Farwana
F U @lancearmstrong #livewrong #dopestrong #justdopeitBryan Mitchell
Armstrong’s resignation also drew comments saying the cyclist should have owned up to his mistakes long ago, rather than repeatedly insisting that he never doped.
Today I wonder if Lance Armstrong’s fall would have been as severe if he would have owned up long ago and eaten that sandwich in one bite.Kyle Proctor
RIP Lance Armstrong’s reputation – the biggest cheat in sporting history. #LiveWrongPiers Morgan
I assume u see that lance has quit as CEO livestrong but remains on the boardMax Smith
Despite his sullied reputation, Armstrong’s Livestrong charity has raised more than $500 million for people affected by cancer, which is enough for his remaining fans.
Oh, Lance. I’m still a fan. #liveSTRONG @lancearmstrong http://www.kxan.com/dpp/news/local/austin/armstrong-steps-down-as-livestrong-chairmanJennifer Vazquez