Shamed Armstrong quits cancer charity

Lance Armstrong has cut formal ties with his cancer-fighting charity Livestrong to avoid further damage from doping charges and being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles.

Armstrong, who was banned last month from competition and stripped of his Tour titles, had resigned from the board of directors November 4, three weeks after resigning as chairman.

Katherine McLane, a Livestrong spokeswoman, said Armstrong, a survivor of testicular cancer that had spread to his brain and lungs, “remains the inspiration” for the charity and is its largest donor, contributing nearly $7 million (€5.5m).

Jeff Garvey, the new chairman of Livestrong, said Armstrong stepped down to spare the organisation any negative effects resulting from his cycling career.

“Lance Armstrong was instrumental in changing the way the world views people affected by cancer,” Garvey said. “His devotion to serving survivors is unparalleled and for 15 years he committed himself to that cause with all his heart.”

Armstrong, who was accused in a United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) report of helping run a ”sophisticated, systematic doping programme” in cycling, has lost his personal sponsors in the wake of his punishment — although Nike has indicated it will continue its relationship with Livestrong.

Armstrong has had little to say since he was banned from competition and stripped of his titles.

However, he tweeted a photo on Saturday that showed him lying on a couch under his seven framed yellow Tour jerseys and wrote: “Back in Austin and just layin’ around.”

All Armstrong’s results from August 1, 1998 were expunged from the record books when the 41-year-old was banned for life.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) also announced last week they would not appeal against the sanctions, while the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have opened an investigation which could see Armstrong stripped of his road time-trial bronze medal from the 2000 Olympic Games.

Armstrong did not co-operate with the USADA investigation and has always denied wrongdoing, although he has since removed the line ‘7-time Tour de France champion’ from his Twitter profile.

The fall-out from USADA’s verdict has been extensive, with 11 of Armstrong’s former team-mates receiving six-month bans after admitting their own doping offences in the course of their testimonies against him.

South African mountain biker David George, who rode with US Postal from 1999 to 2000, was provisionally suspended on Tuesday after testing positive for the banned blood-booster EPO.

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