Lance Armstrong’s story is well known. In 1996, the cycling champion was diagnosed with cancer, yet by 1999, he had fully recovered and went on to win the world famous Tour de France seven times in a row. In 2004, the LIVESTRONG foundation introduced the yellow “Livestrong” bracelets in honor of Lance’s courage, selling more than 80 million and creating a global symbol for cancer awareness and survivorship.
Today Lance Armstrong has announced he will no longer fight allegations of doping and in turn has stepped down as chairman of LIVESTRONG. Nike has also ended their relationship with Armstrong, who is now likely to be stripped of his Tour de France titles.
The following is Nike’s official statement on the situation:
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.
It’s tough to imagine a strong future for Livestrong in light of this tragic news, however we wish all the best to the charity and anyone who has ever been affected by cancer in any way.
UPDATE: On May 28, 2013, Nike announces that it will stop producing LIVESTRONG branded products after its Holiday 2013 season, but will continue to support the foundation directly.