Well known cyclist Lance Armstrong and Nike have ended their affiliation, with Nike citing insurmountable evidence that Armstrong was involved in a doping scandal and that he lied to the company about his activities for over 10 years. According to Nike, it decided to end its contract with Armstrong “with great sadness.”
“Nike does not condone the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs in any manner,” the company said in a statement.
On Wednesday morning, minutes before Nike made its announcement, Armstrong made his own announcement that he was going to step down as chairman from his Livestrong charity. The charity helps raise money to fight cancer. He said he was stepping down from the charity so it can distance itself from the firestorm surrounding Armstrong and the doping scandal.
Nike, which is headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon, did say that it would continue to provide support for Livestrong. Just last week the United States Anti-Doping Agency released its report on doping by Armstrong and his teams when he won seven straight Tour de France titles from 1999 to 2005.
It is not out of the ordinary for Nike to stick with its athlete sponsors during rough patches, as evidenced by it sticking with Tiger Woods during his marriage scandal. When the dog-fighting scandal surrounding Michael Vick broke, the company severed its ties with the quarterback but backed Vick again last year.