Lance Armstrong has been dumped by his biggest sponsor, Nike, and resigned from Livestrong in the wake of his doping scandal — a move that could cost him $50 million.
Disgraced cycling champion Lance Armstrong has been dumped by Nike in the wake of a huge doping scandal that has seen the cancer survivor’s seven Tour de France titles stripped.
A week after the USADA released a 1000-page report detailing how the star cheated his way through his wins “start to finish” through doping, Armstrong’s biggest sponsor decided enough is enough.
The report included firsthand accounts from witnesses of Armstrong taking banned substances and undergoing blood transfusions, as well as pressuring his US Postal Service teammates to do the same.
“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 company said in a statement. “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.”
Minutes before the decision was released, Armstrong announced he would step down as chairman of Livestrong.
“This organization, its mission and its supporters are incredibly dear to my heart,” Armstrong said. “Today, therefore, to spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career, I will conclude my chairmanship.”
He will remain on the Livestrong board in an unpaid position.
While Oakley, another of Armstrong’s sponsors, is so far staying put, they are actively reviewing their support in the wake of the report.
“As we have stated in the past, Oakley does not approve in any way the use of illegal substances for enhancing performance in sports,” Oakley said in a statement. “Our policy with our athletes is to support them until proven guilty by the highest governing body of sport or court of law. We are reviewing the extensive report from the USADA, as well as our relationship with Lance, and will await final decision-making by the International Cycling Union.”