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Lance Armstrong steps down as chairman of Livestrong charity

October 17, 2012|By Houston Mitchell

Lance Armstrong, embroiled in new controversy surrounding his alleged doping while winning seven consecutive Tour de France titles, announced Wednesday that he is stepping down as chairman of his cancer-fighting charity so it can focus on its mission instead of its founder's problems.

"This organization, its mission and its supporters are incredibly dear to my heart," Armstrong said in a statement. "Today therefore, to spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career, I will conclude my chairmanship.

"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.

"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," Armstrong said.

PHOTOS: Lance Armstrong through the years

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency released a massive report last week detailing allegations of widespread doping by Armstrong and his teams when he won the Tour de France seven consecutive times from 1999 to 2005.

The report included testimony from 11 former teammates.

The International Cycling Union received the USADA's report last week and has 21 days to decide whether to formally ratify the decision to strip Armstrong of his Tour de France titles.

The Lance Armstrong Foundation, commonly known as Livestrong, was founded in 1997. It has raised approximately $500 million to support cancer patients. Armstrong, who is a cancer survivor, will stay on the charity's board, the foundation said.

Armstrong strongly denies the doping allegations and says he has quit fighting the charges because the USADA's hearing process was unfair.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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