Clothing and sportswear titan Nike will cut ties with the world-famous ambassador of cancer charity and former cyclist, Lance Armstrong.
41-year-old Lance, who has been disassociate of his seven “Tour de France” titles, has also stepped down as chairman of his cancer charity ”Livestrong”. The three companies pledged to continue to support Livestrong.
According to Nike,“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”. (Source)
Nike’s relationship with Mr. Armstrong began in 1996, and when previous allegations that Mr. Armstrong doped surfaced, Nike had consistently backed Mr. Armstrong following his denials. Even last week, after the report, Nike issued a statement that it was standing by the athlete.
Just last week, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency released a tremendous report detailing allegations of widespread doping by Armstrong and his teams when he won the Tour de France seven consecutive times (1999 to 2005).
Armstrong, who overcame life-threatening testicular cancer, retired from cycling a year ago. In August, he announced that he would no longer fight the doping accusations that have dogged him for a year. (Source)
Lance Armstrong has since been stripped off seven of his Tour de France titles and banned from the competition for life.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) send 1,000+ pages of report findings to the International Cycling Union (UCI) which contains testimonials from 26 witnessed, including 11 former Armstrong teammates. All of it points to allegations of Armstrong and his teams using steroids, the blood-booster EPO, blood transfusions, and testosterone in a highly sophisticated doping scheme during his Tour de France title run.
Following the report, UCI President Pat McQuaid said in Geneva he was “sickened” by the USDA findings, adding, “Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling.… He deserves to be forgotten”. (Source)
Aww. Bye bye, Lance.