WASHINGTON, Jan 19, 2013 (AFP) – Livestrong, the cancer charity founded by
disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, said Thursday it was “disappointed” that he
had deceived the organization and many others about doping.
“We at the Livestrong Foundation are disappointed by the news that Lance
Armstrong misled people during and after his cycling career, including us,” it
said after the broadcast of Armstrong’s interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Armstrong, 41, used the interview to come clean for the first time about
his use of performance enhancing drugs to win seven consecutive Tour de France
races, after more than a decade of strident denials.
Prior to recording the interview Monday in his hometown of Austin, Texas,
Armstrong personally went to Livestrong headquarters to apologize to its staff
– and in the interview, he wore its iconic yellow fund-raising wristband.
“We accepted his apology in order to move on and chart a strong,
independent course,” the foundation said in its statement, received 40 minutes
after the conclusion of part one of the broadcast, which will continue on
“Even in the wake of our disappointment, we also express our gratitude to
Lance as a (cancer) survivor for the drive, devotion and spirit he brought to
serving cancer patients and the entire cancer community,” it said.
“Lance is no longer on the foundation’s board, but he is our founder and we
will always be grateful to him for creating and helping to build a foundation
that has served millions struggling with cancer.”
It added: “Our success has never been based on one person. It’s based on
the patients and survivors we serve every day who approach a cancer diagnosis
with hope, courage and perseverance.”
Armstrong founded Livestrong in 1997 after he underwent chemotherapy to
overcome testicular cancer that had spread to his brain and other parts of his
He stepped down first as its chairman, then from its board of directors
last year as the US Anti-Doping Agency, in a damning 1,000-page report, put
him at the center of the biggest doping conspiracy in the annals of cycling.
Livestrong says it has served more than 2.5 million people affected by
cancer and raised more than $500 million since its founding to support cancer
survivors. It does not contribute directly to cancer research.