Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong has stepped down as chairman of his famous cancer-charity Livestrong on Wednesday in the wake of his doping scandal. Sports giant Nike has also cut ties with the athlete.
The Score reports that Armstrong stepped down from his position on the board of the fifteen-year-old Livestrong charity on Wednesday. Earlier this week, his former masseuse, Dublin native Emma O’Reilly, went public with her own accounts of Armstrong’s use of illegal enhancement drugs while racing, citing that she felt like a “drug runner.”
Livestrong, formally known as The Lance Armstrong Foundation, was founded in 1997 and is set to celebrate its fifteenth anniversary this coming weekend. Though stepping down as chairman, Armstrong will remain on the board of the cancer-fighting charity that has raised $500 million in cancer research and support. Armstrong himself is a cancer survivor.
The athlete thanked those who supported Livestrong over the years: “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.”
On Wednesday, Nike announced that it was formally cutting ties with Armstrong in the wake of his doping scandal. The sports giant released a statement saying, “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 USADA has ordered that Armstrong’s fourteen year record as a cyclist be erased, including his seven Tour de France titles.
Armstrong does, however, maintain that he did use performance enhancing drugs, but quit his fight against the USADA citing that their hearing process was unfair.
The mystery of Irish and Celtic symbols (PHOTOS)