Lance Armstrong has stepped down from the board of the Livestrong Foundation, ending his affiliation with the organization a year and a half after he was forced to step down as its chairman.
The seven-time Tour de France winner started the Livestrong Foundation 15 years ago after his career was nearly cut short by testicular cancer, Bloomberg noted.
The move is seen as a way for Lance Armstrong to distance himself from the foundation in an effort to survive his fall from grace since being accused of doping. The foundation’s spokeswoman, Katherine McLane, said that Armstrong’s last day on the board was November 4.
Donors to the foundation say, despite Lance Armstrong’s departure from the board, the damage may already be done.
“It’ll take years until people think of it as something other than being” Armstrong’s charity, said Steve Schooner, himself a testicular cancer survivor whose fundraising won him a bike ride with Armstrong in 2009 and brought in $50,000 for the foundation, Bloomberg noted. “He is the engine behind most of the high-profile fundraising and events. Even a tour of the headquarters, with his jerseys and bike art, makes clear he’s the focal point.”
Lance Armstrong’s departure from Livestrong marks the end of a difficult two-month period. After the cyclist declined to contest doping charges, he was stripped of his seven Tour de France victories by the International Cycling Union (UCI), ESPN noted.
This led to an exodus of sponsors for Lance Armstrong as one-by-one they withdrew support. Even companies that had previously pledged to stand by Armstrong, like eyewear manufacturer Oakley, dropped him as a spokesman.