Lance Armstrong Dropped by Nike, Quits as Livestrong Chairman

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Lance Armstrong has resigned from the top spot at Livestrong, the cancer charity he founded, just as Nike said that it was terminating its contract with him over allegations that his cycling victories were fueled by doping.

Armstrong announced his decision in a statement this morning:

"This organization, its mission and its supporters are incredibly dear to my heart. Today therefore, to spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career, I will conclude my chairmanship."

According to the Associated Press, Armstrong will remain on the board of Livestrong, which will now be led by Vice Chairman Jeff Garvey. Garvey will also take over some of Armstrong's public appearances, though Armstrong said he intended to remain an "active advocat[e] for cancer survivors."

In a separate statement, Nike said that it was ending its sponsorship deal with the cyclist because of "the seemingly insurmountable evidence that Lance Armstrong participated in doping and misled Nike for more than a decade."

The company said it would continue to support Livestrong, also known as the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

Armstrong founded the charity in 1997 after surviving testicular cancer. He has continued to represent it even after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency banned him from cycling in August. Based on testimony from 11 former teammates, the USADA has accused Armstrong's U.S. Postal Service cycling team of running "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen."

The former champion has been stripped of his titles—including seven Tour de France victories—and banned from competition for life. He denies participating in doping, but has abandoned efforts to fight the allegations in court after losing his first attempt.