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Some Lance Armstrong 'Livestrong' donors want their money back

October 22, 2012|By Houston Mitchell
  • The Livestrong yellow bracelet.
The Livestrong yellow bracelet. (Rhona Wise / EPA )

You shouldn't introduce him as "seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong" anymore.

Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles on Monday and banned for life by UCI, cycling's governing body, in the wake of a report from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that detailed a doping program on his teams.

To make his week even worse, some people who donated to the Lance Armstrong Foundation, also known as Livestrong, want their money back.

Connie and Daniel Roddy of Santa Monica have given in excess of $100,000 over the years to the cancer-fighting charity founded by Armstrong. They want it back.

"It all started when Lance’s first book came out," Connie Roddy told CNN, referring to the 2001 publication of "It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life," which details Armstrong’s bout with testicular cancer. "I read it cover to cover. I was just so taken by who he said he was."

PHOTOS: Lance Armstrong through the years

The Roddys say they gave $50,000 to the foundation in 2002 and helped organize an event for the foundation that raised an additional $150,000.

"I feel we were really fooled. We were really hoodwinked," she said.

Joining them is Michael Birdsong of Salt Lake City. Birdsong's wife was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998.

"She found his story very inspiring," he said. "Before we read his book, she would work all day, go to radiation treatments and go riding because that made her feel good."

Birdsong said he had never believed Armstrong used performance-enhancing drugs until the USADA report came out.

"I was a huge Armstrong fan from 1999 to the time he retired. I would defend him from anyone." But now? "The whole thing is founded on a lie. The guy cheated, and he forced other people to cheat. I would like my money back. We donated under false pretenses."

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