The damning and extensive report issued by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency last week may have erased any lingering doubt about Lance Armstrong’s alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs. But despite his decision to step down as chairman of the Livestrong Foundation, one of the world’s most prominent supporters of cancer research remains tainted by Armstrong’s alleged deception. As Cindy Boren writes:
The contrast between Lance Armstrong, the inspirational cancer survivor, and Lance Armstrong, the disgraced cyclist, has never been more distinct. Armstrong’s reputation in cycling has been becoming increasingly tattered since this summer, with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s report last week labeling him a “serial cheat” and quoting former teammates who exposed the extent of his involvement in doping as he was winning seven Tours de France.
He lost a series of endorsement deals Wednesday, with Nike’s announcement that it was severing ties with him emboldening others. Trek, Giro, FRS, Honey Stinger, 24 Hour Fitness, Anheuser-Busch and Radio Shack all dumped him, with Oakley saying it would wait until the International Cycling Union issued its final report on Armstrong before making a decision. At this point, Armstrong is so toxic as a spokesman and so finished as an athlete at 41 that the decision was an easy one, even for Trek, which made Armstrong’s bicycles.