CHICAGO, Nov 12, 2012 (AFP) – Disgraced cycling star Lance Armstrong has
stepped down from the board of the cancer-fighting Livestrong charity he
founded 15 years ago in the wake of a huge doping scandal.
Armstrong voluntarily resigned from the board on November 4, nearly three
weeks after he stepped down as chairman, his replacement said in a statement
provided to AFP on Monday.
He did so “to spare the organization any negative effects as a result of
controversy surrounding his cycling career,” chairman Jeff Garvey said.
Armstrong has not completely severed ties with the foundation but “his
visibility will be reduced,” added communications chief Katherine McLane.
“Although he has no formal leadership role with the organization and the
foundation is focusing on elevating the voices and stories of survivors all
around the world not just a single individual, he is still the foundation’s
creator,” she said in a telephone interview.
“We count on him to remain active in the cancer cause, whether that’s with
the foundation or whatever form he chooses his advocacy to take.”
Armstrong was issued a life ban and stripped of seven Tour de France titles
in August by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), which last month revealed
1,000 pages of evidence against him, including testimony from 11 former
The International Cycling Union (UCI) backed the USADA decision to
effectively erase Armstrong’s cycling record, including the seven Tour de
France titles he won from 1999 to 2005, after a lengthy investigation.
Armstrong also faces legal actions which could see him required to return
millions in prize money and bonus payments. He could also be stripped of the
time-trial bronze medal he won at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
However, the foundation said his legacy of helping cancer patients after
surviving a battle with testicular cancer remains intact.
“Lance Armstrong was instrumental in changing the way the world views
people affected by cancer,” Garvey said, adding the foundation is “deeply
grateful” for Armstrong’s “devotion to serving survivors.”
The Armstrong family has donated nearly $7 million to the foundation and
helped it raise nearly $500 million over the past 15 years.
“We are proud of Lance’s indelible contributions to the global effort to
eradicate cancer and his on-going personal commitment to improving the lives
of its survivors,” Garvey said.
“The Foundation will continue to grow its free services for cancer
survivors, advocate on their behalf and fulfill the mission Lance created 15