MANILA, Philippines – In the latest turn of events in the Lance Armstrong doping scandal, Nike announced Wednesday, October 17 that it has dropped the 7-time Tour de France champion from its list of endorsers.
In a statement released on its website, Nike cited that the evidence against Armstrong’s use of performance enhancing drugs was “insurmountable” and that the cyclist had misled the company for more than a decade.
In the same statement Nike re-affirmed support for the Lance Armstrong Foundation, “Livestrong” a charity that provides support to people fighting cancer. Armstrong, a cancer survivor founded the organization in 1997. Armstrong stepped down as chairman of the organization today.
He said he did not want the controversy over his cycling career to distract the foundation from its mission of helping people with cancer.
“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,” Armstrong said in a statement on the foundation’s website.
Last week the US Anti-Doping Agency released a 1000-page testimony revealing how Armstrong was at the center of the biggest doping program in sporting history.
Armstrong has always maintained that he did not use banned substances during his career, but in August he chose not to contest charges put forward by the US Anti-doping Agency (USADA) that he was a serial drugs cheat.
Read the full Nike statement below:
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.
– Rappler.com with reports from Agence France-Presse
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