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Cyclist Lance Armstrong said Wednesday that he is stepping down from his chairman position at his Livestrong charity. The decision comes after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency released its report on evidence that showed Armstrong was doping while winning seven Tour de France titles.
According to The Associated Press, Armstrong made the decision so that his charity can focus on its work, rather than dealing with his problems.
“This organization, its mission and its supporters are incredibly dear to my heart,” Armstrong said in a statement. “Today therefore, to spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career, I will conclude my chairmanship.”
Vice chairman Jeff Garvey will take over as chairman, although Armstrong will remain a member of the organization’s board. Garvey will also become the public face of Livestrong, spokeswoman Katherine McLane said.
Just after the announcement, one of Armstrong’s longest corporate partnerships also came to an end just minutes after he stepped down, reports CNN. Nike said that it has terminated its contract with the cyclist.
“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,” the company said, noting that it will still support Livestrong’s causes, though.
Armstrong has been a controversial figure in the sport and has always been followed by doping allegations. In August, he announced that he will no longer fight the USADA’s charges, although he still said he was innocent. He was banned for life from cycling and had his Tour de France titles stripped.
Last week, the USADA released its report that explained why it banned him. It also contained sworn statements from 11 teammates who said Armstrong doped.