In the latest bit of fallout from the doping allegations against him, several news outlets are reporting that Lance Armstrong will step down as chairman of the Lance Armstrong Foundation, better known as Livestrong, the Austin-based cancer-fighting charity he helped found in 1997. It was also reported this morning that Nike will be terminating its endorsement deal with the cyclist.
In a statement on Livestrong obtained by the Associated Press, Armstrong said: "This organization, 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." Vice-chair Jeff Garvey will take over for him, although Armstrong will remain on the 15-member board.
The announcement comes just a week after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency released thousands of pages detailing their allegations against Armstrong, which included testimony from 11 of his former teammates, emails, lab results, and financial records.
ESPN reports that Nike is terminating its endorsement deal with Armstrong, due entirely to the doping allegations.
In a statement to the network, a Nike spokesperson explained the termination:
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."
A source also tells ESPN that Nike will be changing the name of its Lance Armstrong Fitness Center building, located at Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Ore.
In 2010, the most recent year for which its IRS filings are available, Livestrong brought in more than $42 million in revenue, including $16 million in donations and grants.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.