Armstrong Quits Cancer Charity

The seven-time Tour de France cycling winner, Lance Armstrong, who was stripped of his titles on cheating allegations, has cut his last official tie with the cancer charity Livestrong by resigning from its board. The cyclist who stepped down as chairman of the group was the target of a report released by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that alleged he was part of the largest sports cheating ring in cycling history.

The last day of the disgraced cyclist as a board member at the charity he founded in 1997 was November 4, according to Katherine McLane, a spokeswoman for the group. McLane said Lance decided to resign from the foundation’s board to spare it any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding his cycling career. Armstrong has not completely severed ties with the foundation but “his visibility will be reduced,” added communications chief Katherine McLane. Katherine added that Lance is still the foundation’s creator though he has no formal leadership role in the organization and the foundation is focusing on elevating the voices and stories of survivors all around the world not just a single individual.

The Austin, Texas-based foundation was created by Lance Armstrong after his career was almost abruptly ended by testicular cancer and Livestrong mission is to connect cancer patients with resources to help with their care, and to inspire them to live active lives.

The cyclist has always maintained that he never cheated and vehemently denied all doping allegations but his decision not to fight the round of charges against him allowed the United States Anti-Doping Agency and the governing body of cycling, Union Cycliste Internationale, to strip him of his wins. The cyclist recently posted a picture on his Twitter account of lying on the couch with seven of the Tour de France yellow jerseys on the wall behind him. The cyclist 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 teammates. He also faces legal actions which could see him required to return millions in prize money and bonus payments besides facing the possible risk of being stripped of the time-trial bronze medal he won at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

Livestrong’s popularity has fallen out of the list of the 400 charities in the Chronicle of Philanthropy though it still remains the top athlete-founded charity. The cancer foundation is hopeful that donors will look past the alleged cheating of the cyclist to the good work done by the charitable foundation in linking cancer patients with resources, Greg Lee, remarked the foundation’s chief financial officer before an announcement on the board resignation of Lance Armstrong and added that the foundation has sufficient reserves to survive a downturn. Garvey said Livestrong is “deeply grateful” for Armstrong’s “devotion to serving survivors” and Lance was instrumental in changing the way the world views people affected by cancer, Livestrong chairman Jeff Garvey said.

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