It’s official: Lance Armstrong will step down as the chairman of Livestrong, his cancer-fighting charity, so that the group can focus on its mission, and not on its founder’s problems.
You may have caught the interview that Lance Armstrong’s former team mate, Tyler Hamilton, did as part of a BBC radio documentary earlier in the week. In it, Hamilton said that amongst the naughty things that Lance Armstrong has done in his career, paying a motorcyclist to deliver bloodbooster’s was something that Armstrong just did, and hoped would never be revealed.
In the latest development of the dopestrong saga, Lance will quit as the chairman of Livestrong.
The Associated Press reported:
The move came a week after the US Anti-Doping Agency released a massive report detailing allegations of widespread doping by Armstrong and his teams when he won the Tour de France seven consecutive times from 1999 to 2005. The document’s purpose was to show why USADA has banned him from cycling for life and ordered 14 years of his career results erased — including those Tour titles. It contains sworn statements from 26 witnesses, including 11 former teammates.
Armstrong, who was not paid a salary as chairman of the Lance Armstrong Foundation, will remain on its 15-member board. His duties leading the board will be turned over to vice chairman Jeff Garvey, who was founding chairman in 1997.
They had also managed to get their hands on a statement released by Lance himself. In it, Lance thanked the world for its support during the 15 years the charity has been in operation. Here is part of that statement:
This organisation, its mission and its supporters are incredibly dear to my heart. Today therefore, to spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career, I will conclude my chairmanship. As my cancer treatment was drawing to an end, I created a foundation to serve people affected by cancer. It has been a great privilege to help grow it from a dream into an organisation that today has served 2,5 million people and helped spur a cultural shift in how the world views cancer survivors. My family and I have devoted our lives to the work of the foundation and that will not change. We plan to continue our service to the foundation and the cancer community. We will remain active advocates for cancer survivors and engaged supporters of the fight against cancer. 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.
Armstrong has continued to deny the allegations against him, but things have gotten much worse since the release of the US Anti-Doping Agency’s report.
Of Livestrong, The Associated Press continued:
CharityWatch, which analyses the work of approximately 600 charities, lists the foundation among its top-rated organisations. That status normally goes to groups which “generally spend 75 per cent or more of their budgets on programs, spend $25 or less to raise $100 in public support, do not hold excessive assets in reserve” and disclose of basic financial information and documents.
Livestrong says it had functional expenses totaling nearly $35,8 million last year and 82 per cent of every dollar raised went directly to programs, a total of more than $29,3 million.
The foundation reported a spike in contributions in late August in the days immediately after Armstrong announced he would no longer fight doping charges and officials moved to erase his Tour victories.
Nike wasted no time, and severed all ties with Armstrong. In their own statement, they claimed Armstrong had lied to them for more than a decade. They would however continue to support Livestrong:
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.
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