Austin, TX, United States (4E Sports) – Lance Armstrong has resigned from Livestrong’s board of directors last week to spare his charity from further damage stemming from the doping scandal that cost him his seven Tour de France titles.
Last month, Armstrong resigned as charity’s chairman after the United States Anti-Doping Agency released a report detailing his use of illegal substances during his Tour de France reign.
The International Cycling Union, the sport’s governing body, decided not to appeal USADA’s findings and formally stripped Armstrong of his seven Tour titles and banned him from cycling for life.
“Lance Armstrong has chosen to voluntarily resign from the Board of Directors of the Livestrong Foundation to spare the organization any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding his cycling career,” said longtime Livestrong official Jeff Garvey, who replaced Armstrong as chairman.
“We are deeply grateful to Lance for creating a cause that has served millions of cancer survivors and their families,” Garvey added.
However, Livestrong spokeswoman Katherine McLane said Armstrong remains as the charity’s “founder and inspiration and our biggest donor”.
A cancer survivor, Armstrong has donated $7 million to date to the organization he founded in 1997.
McLane said it is possible that Armstrong may continue to raise funds for Livestrong or continue to serve as an advocate for cancer research and patients.
“Lance Armstrong was instrumental in changing the way the world views people affected by cancer,” Garvey said. “His devotion to serving survivors is unparalleled and for 15 years, he committed himself to that cause with all his heart on behalf of the Livestrong Foundation.”
“Under Lance’s leadership, the Foundation raised close to $500 million to serve survivors. Because of Lance, there is today more focus on the individuals whom this disease strikes, and on healing the person, not just killing the disease,” Garvey added.
Recently, Nike, Anheuser-Busch and other sponsors have cut ties with Armstrong in the wake of the USADA report but many said they would continue to provide financial support to Livestrong.
The USADA report said Armstrong and his teammates used steroids, EPO and other banned substances during the years he dominated the sport. Eleven former teammates testified against Armstrong, whom the report says threatened to fire riders who refused to use drugs.