Lance Armstrong loses Nike sponsorship, steps down as Livestrong chairman

October 17, 2012 - 5:52 am

On the same day that Nike revealed that it has ended its endorsement deal with Lance Armstrong , the cycling legend announced that he is stepping down as chairman of the Livestrong charity he founded to fight cancer. "This organization, its mission and its supporters are incredibly dear to my heart," Armstrong said in a statement obtained by 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 will remain on the 15-member board, which will be chaired by vice chairman Jeff Garvey, who was founding chairman in 1997. Nike helped raise $80 million for the foundation through the sale of Livestrong-branded merchandise, particularly yellow wristbands. The company said in a statement that it was terminating Armstrong's contract "with great sadness," adding: "Nike does not condone the use of illegal performance-enhancing drugs in any manner." According to ESPN, Nike also plans to change the name of the fitness center it named for Armstrong at its headquarters/campus in Beaverton, Ore. Armstrong, a cancer survivor who won the Tour de France seven consecutive times from 1999 to 2005, continues to deny accusations of doping despite being banned for life by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

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