Nike severs ties with Armstrong 'with great sadness'
TribLIVE Sports Videos
AUSTIN, Texas — Already an outcast in cycling after a massive doping report, Lance Armstrong absorbed hits much closer to home Wednesday: to his wallet and his heart.
Armstrong was dumped by Nike, Anheuser-Busch and other sponsors, and he gave up the top spot at Livestrong, his beloved cancer-fighting charity, a week after an anti-doping agency released evidence of drug use by the seven-time Tour de France winner.
Armstrong stepped down as chairman of Livestrong in an attempt to minimize the damage caused by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's report. USADA banned Armstrong from the sport for life and has ordered that his Tour titles be stripped.
“This organization, its mission and its supporters are incredibly dear to my heart,” the cancer survivor said in a statement. “Today therefore, to spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career, I will conclude my chairmanship.”
Minutes later, Nike dropped its personal sponsorship contract with him and issued a blistering statement that the company had been duped by his denials over the years.
“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,” the company said.
Brewing giant Anheuser-Busch followed suit, saying: “We have decided not to renew our relationship with Lance Armstrong when our current contract expires at the end of 2012.”
Soon after, other sponsors also cut ties with him. Among them were Trek bicycles and Honey Stinger, a maker of foods and gels for athletes.
If there was a silver lining in the day for Armstrong, it was that his major sponsors said they will continue to support the charity, which started as the Lance Armstrong Foundation 15 years ago.
Another longtime sponsor, sportswear maker Oakley, said it is withholding a decision until the International Cycling Union — the governing body for cycling — decides whether it will fight USADA's sanctions against Armstrong. UCI has until Oct. 31 to appeal USADA's sanctions against Armstrong to the world Court of Arbitration for Sport. If not, the penalties will stand.
Armstrong, who Forbes has estimated is worth about $125 million, was not paid a salary as Livestrong chairman and will remain on the charity's 15-member board. The duties of leading the board will be turned over to vice chairman Jeff Garvey, who was founding chairman in 1997.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Web-savvy terrorists have success luring U.S. recruits with social media
- Stylish, inexpensive dress takes television newsrooms by storm
- Congress agrees to transportation bill
- Special ops force to head to Iraq to carry out raids on ISIS
- House votes to thwart power plant regulations
- IRS pledges its investigators will stop tracking cellphones without warrants
- Chicago mayor fires police chief in wake of video release
- Bill to end warrantless reading of Americans’ emails under review by House panel
- Chicago mayor ousts police superintendent
- Retired general, Obama adviser says re-election bid skewed response to early intel on growth of ISIS
- Bin Laden aide’s conspiracy charge outside military tribunal’s jurisdiction, appeals court told