Karen LeMay was in the KXAN studio on Saturday morning to share…
Karen LeMay was in the KXAN studio on Saturday morning to share…
Austin police report that Friday night's no-refusal initiative …
The rainy pattern we saw across central Texas on Friday is …
The State Board of Education is scrapping its special panel to …
Updated: Wednesday, 17 Oct 2012, 5:42 PM CDT
Published : Wednesday, 17 Oct 2012, 7:03 AM CDT
AUSTIN (KXAN/AP) — Under siege in a widening doping scandal, champion bicyclist Lance Armstrong on Wednesday stepped down as chairman of the cancer-fighting charity that he founded 15 years ago and lost several of the sponsors that until now had defended his reputation.
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.
The cyclist announced his departure from Austin-based Livestrong one week after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency released a massive report detailing allegations of widespread performance-enhancing drug use by Armstrong and his teams. The document included testimony from 11 former teammates. USADA has ordered 14 years of Armstrong's career results erased, including his seven Tour de France titles.
"Lance's devotion to serving others whose lives were irrevocably changed by cancer, as his was, is unsurpassable," said Doug Ulman, Livestrong president and CEO. "We are incredibly proud of his record as an advocate and philanthropist and are deeply grateful that Lance and his family will continue to be actively involved with the Foundation's advocacy and service work. We look forward to celebrating 15 years of progress with Lance and his family this weekend and recommitting ourselves to the work of the cancer community for the years ahead."
The Lance Armstrong Foundation, commonly known as Livestrong, was founded in 1997 and has raised roughly $500 million to support cancer patients. The group has scheduled its 15th anniversary celebration for this weekend. Armstrong will stay on the charity's board.
"Long before he became a household name, Lance Armstrong created a foundation to serve others facing the same fears and challenges he struggled to overcome as a result of his cancer diagnosis," said Ulman. "Today, thanks to Lance's leadership, that foundation has had the privilege of raising close to $500 million to serve people affected by cancer"
A cancer survivor, Armstrong strongly denies doping and says he quit fighting USADA because its hearing process was unfair.
Founding Chair Jeff Garvey will serve as chairman of the board.
"We are grateful to Jeff Garvey for assuming the responsibilities of chairman," said Ulman. "Jeff has been a guiding presence for Livestrong for 15 years and we look forward to a seamless transition under his leadership and a continued strong focus on our core values and mission."
The announcement was followed almost immediately by one from longtime Armstrong sponsor Nike saying it was ending its relatiionship with the cyclist.
"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 statement said. "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."
"In 1996, 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 organization that today has served 2.5 million people and helped spur a cultural shift in how the world views cancer survivors. This organization, its mission and its supporters are incredibly dear to my heart.
"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. We turn to this community frequently for guidance and collaboration to achieve our shared goals. They are unfailingly generous with their wisdom and counsel and I can never thank them enough.
"I have had the great honor of serving as this foundation's chairman for the last five years and its mission and success are my top priorities. Today therefore, to spare the foundation any negative effects as
a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career, I will conclude my chairmanship.
"My duties will transfer to Vice Chairman Jeff Garvey who will serve as chairman. Jeff's guidance and wisdom have been critical to shaping the foundation's work since its earliest days. Jeff was this organization's founding chairman and I have full confidence that under his leadership, the foundation will continue expanding its ability to serve 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. And we look forward to an exciting weekend of activities marking the 15th anniversary of the foundation's creation."
Facts about Livestrong
About Livestrong and the Lance Armstrong Foundation
The foundation provides free cancer support services to help people cope with the financial, emotional and practical challenges that accompany the disease.
Created in 1997 by cancer survivor and philanthropist Lance Armstrong, the Foundation is known for its powerful brand -- Livestrong -- and for its advocacy on behalf of survivors and their families.
With its iconic yellow Livestrong wristband, the Foundation has become a symbol of hope and inspiration around the world.
Since its inception, the foundation has raised nearly $500 million to support cancer survivors and served 2.5 million people affected by the disease.
Opinions that are derogatory, attack other users or are offensive in nature may be removed. KXAN is not responsible for the content posted in this comment section. We reserve the right to remove any offensive or off-topic remark or thread. To mark a comment for review by a moderator, click "Report Abuse."