Nike has reportedly parted ways with embattled cyclist Lance Armstrong, according to CNN. The company explained on Wednesday that it would no longer endorse Armstrong, a partnership that has generated quite a bit of money for the athlete over the years.
The announcement comes hot on the heals of Armstrong’s revelation that he would step down as the chairman of Livestrong, the cancer-fighting charity he helped establish. All of this news arrives only a week after the US Anti-Doping Agency released a report detailing the cyclists alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs.
“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.”
Although Nike originally stood behind Lance Armstrong when his titles were stripped away, it would seem the report is simply too much for the company to handle. Considering the cyclist once made $17.5 million in one year from his endorsement deal with the shoe manufacturer, this sudden loss of income probably isn’t very good news for Team Armstrong.
While the reports that Nike has severed ties with Armstrong are certainly surprising, his departure from Livestrong is much more unfortunate. The athlete’s popularity helped generate a significant amount of money for the charity, which may ultimately suffer as a result of the doping scandal surrounding its figurehead. According to the Los Angeles Times, Armstrong maintained that he still intends to help out in any way he can.
“My family and I have devoted our lives to the work of the foundation and that will not change. We plan to continue our service to the foundation and the cancer community. We will remain active advocates for cancer survivors and engaged supporters of the fight against cancer,” he explained.
Are you surprised that Nike has parted ways with Lance Armstrong?