Sports heroes rise, and sometimes they fall. When they do, they're usually quickly forgotten as their names are expunged from the halls of fame, championship rolls and other records of their tainted achievements. But not Lance Armstrong.
Armstrong isn't just a sports hero, he's a story, an inspiration, a beacon. That might explain why, in the midst of the most spectacular celebrity fall from grace in recent memory, he retains vocal legions of supporters and his cancer foundation is doing fine. But that isn't likely to last. As the evidence that his Tour de France victories were marred by illegal performance-enhancing drugs becomes harder to deny, support for the legendary cyclist and his Lance Armstrong Foundation is bound to fade. So it's not enough for Armstrong to step down as chairman, as he did Wednesday; he should sever all ties to the charity, whose reputation is more important than his own.
The Lance Armstrong Foundation is one of the country's best-known cancer charities. What started out as a resource for testicular cancer patients, in honor of its founder's inspirational battle against that disease, now benefits people fighting all kinds of cancer, helping them deal with insurance, mental health and other challenges. It has for years been unofficially known as Livestrong, the message emblazoned on the yellow cancer awareness wristbands it sells to raise funds. Now would be a good time to make that name change official.