Armstrong steps down as chairman of Livestrong Foundation
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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Armstrong steps down as chairman of Livestrong Foundation

by Shane Stokes at 8:17 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
Texan concedes doping charges risk damaging foundation’s fight against cancer

Lance ArmstrongIn what is a reflection of the hammering his public image has taken in recent days plus the controversy which has emerged as a result of the USADA investigation into doping into the US Postal Service team, Lance Armstrong has decided to relinquish his position as chairman of the Livestrong foundation.

The Texan has held that position for many years, being the figurehead of the anti-cancer foundation, but has acknowledged that the weight of the controversy surrounding his career and his name has become too much.

“This organization, its mission and its supporters are incredibly dear to my heart,” he said in a statement, according to the Associated Press. “Today therefore, to spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career, I will conclude my chairmanship.”

Armstrong has never admitted taking banned drugs but his protestations were increasingly hollow following the sworn testimony of 26 individals, including eleven former team-mates. Many of them said that they saw him doping and, more seriously, that he encouraged and in some cases even demanded that they take the substances in order to help him win the Tour de France.

He was handed a lifetime ban and had his results since August 1998 stripped away in August following his decision not to fight the charges.

USADA’s reasoned decision was sent to the UCI and WADA last week, and is currently being considered by both. They have the right to appeal it to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but the weight of evidence is thought to make that unlikely.

According to Livestrong spokeswoman Katherine McLane, current vice chairman Jeff Garvey, who was founding chairman in 1997, will take over the top role. Armstrong is understood to be remaining on the board.

“We plan to continue our service to the foundation and the cancer community,” he said. “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.”

The fact that he is standing down on such an important anniversary will be a tough pill to swallow, but the foundation now clearly feels that the events of recent months have become too heavy to bear with him at the helm.

Livestrong will hold a 15th anniversary gala on Friday in Austin, and Armstrong is expected to speak there.

Also see: Nike severs ties with Armstrong as USADA investigation fallout continues



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