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Armstrong cuts formal ties to Livestrong charity

By Jim Vertuno

AP Sports Writer

LAST UPDATED: 09:36 a.m. HST, Nov 12, 2012

AUSTIN, Texas >> Lance Armstrong has cut formal ties with his cancer-fighting charity to avoid further damage brought by doping charges and being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles.

Armstrong resigned from the board of directors for Livestrong on Nov. 4. He had resigned Oct. 17 as chairman from the charity he founded but had kept a seat on the board.

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency ordered Armstrong banned from the sport for life and stripped of his titles. The International Cycling Union, which had originally supported Armstrong's fight, later agreed to wipe out Armstrong's record seven victories.

Livestrong spokeswoman Katherine McLane said today that Armstrong "remains the inspiration" and is still its largest donor with nearly $7 million over the years.

In a statement, new board chairman Jeff Garvey said Armstrong resigned from the board to spare the organization any negative effects resulting from the controversy surrounding his cycling career.

"Lance Armstrong was instrumental in changing the way the world views people affected by cancer. His devotion to serving survivors is unparalleled and for 15 years, he committed himself to that cause with all his heart," Garvey said.

Armstrong has not commented publicly on the USADA report and recently returned to Austin from Hawaii. Over the weekend, he posted a photograph on Twitter in which he is lying on a couch at his home with seven yellow Tour de France jerseys mounted on the wall.

Armstrong also has lost his personal sponsors, including Nike and brewing giant Anheuser-Busch, who dropped their contracts with him or said they would not renew when current deals expire.

Garvey said the foundation would continue to expand free services to cancer survivors and advocate on their behalf.

"Because of Lance, there is today more focus on the individuals whom this disease strikes, and on healing the person, not just killing the disease," Garvey said.

USADA's report accused Armstrong of helping run "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen" within his U.S. Postal Service and Discovery Channel teams.

The USADA report said Armstrong and his teams used steroids, the blood booster EPO and blood transfusions. The report included statements from 11 former teammates who testified against Armstrong.

Armstrong denies doping, pointing to hundreds of passed drug tests. But he chose not to fight USADA in one of the agency's arbitration hearings, saying the process was biased against him. Former Armstrong team director Johan Bruyneel is also facing doping charges, but he is challenging the USADA case in arbitration.

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Maneki_Neko wrote:
What really stings is the loss of the Budweiser endorsement. Ouch!
on November 12,2012 | 08:41AM
niimi wrote:
Well, the chump just vacationed here in Hawaii. Then he had the nerve to post a photo of his 7 Tour de France jerseys. He has no humility.
on November 12,2012 | 10:00AM
nontaister1 wrote:
Must have been his drug doping,why Cheryl Crow took off so suddenly....
on November 12,2012 | 10:16AM
Grimbold wrote:
Armstrong is being vilified: All top racers used enhancing drugs. He still was the very Best of his time , because all had the same opportunity and he won.! He has my sympathy.
on November 12,2012 | 11:01AM
kailua1044 wrote:
doping was tolerated to boost the sport and the top officials knew all about it and even covered it up for the riders. they are trying to save their asses now.
on November 12,2012 | 01:58PM
onevoice82 wrote:
Whatever is true or untrue is just very sad for me! I feel like I lost a role model. I hope kids can find a new cycling role model soon!
on November 12,2012 | 03:46PM
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