• Cycling

Nike drops Armstrong as he steps down from Livestrong

ESPN staff
October 17, 2012

Nike has terminated its contract with Lance Armstrong just hours after the disgraced cyclist stepped down as chairman of his charity foundation.

The sportswear brand had initially vowed to stand by Armstrong despite the former Tour de France champion being implicated in a high-profile doping scandal.

But in the wake of what Nike termed "seemingly insurmountable evidence" against Armstrong, the company released a statement confirming they had dropped the cyclist after being "misled for more than a decade".

"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," the company said in a statement.

"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."

Earlier on Wednesday, Armstrong confirmed that he would be stepping down from his role at Livestrong in order to spare the foundation of the negativity surrounding his alleged doping.

Vice-chairman Jeff Garvey will take over as chairman, while Armstrong will remain on the 15-member board of the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

"This organisation, 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."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.