Amid a seemingly never-ending doping scandal, embattled cycling champ Lance Armstrong is stepping down from his Livestrong charity in order to allow the organization to continue its good work without the pall cast by the athlete’s ongoing battle to clear his name both in the world of elite cycling and the public sphere.
Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong charity was a staple of the early 2000s, with ubiquitous yellow wristbands sported by supporters and a media blitz for Armstrong, who was hailed as a hero both for his sport accomplishments as well as his hard-fought battle with cancer. Armstrong turned his personal struggles into a positive outlet, raising money and awareness with his Livestrong charity.
But in the latter part of the 2000s, Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong success couldn’t shield him from a doping scandal that he has been battling for years. In recent weeks, Armstrong has again been the subject of US anti-doping authority scrutiny and today announced his split with Livestrong, a company from which he has never drawn a salary.
While Armstrong will remain on the 15-person Livestrong board, Jeff Garvey will take over as chair. In a statement, Lance says:
“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.”
Armstrong has said of Livestrong:
“As my cancer treatment was drawing to an end, I created a foundation to serve people affected by cancer. It has been a great privilege to help grow it from a dream into an organization that today has served 2.5 million people and helped spur a cultural shift in how the world views cancer survivors.”
Do you agree the time was right for Lance Armstrong to turn over leadership at Livestrong, or is the cyclist the victim of an unfair witch hunt due to his successes?