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Lance Armstrong

After years of refuting accusations of using performance-enhancing drugs while participating in the Tour de France, Lance Armstrong faced damaging evidence that he lied, and was helped by others.

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Lance Armstrong Shares Cycling Tips

Lance Armstrong shares cycling tips with the CNN Fit Nation triathletes. (Credit: Amanda Sloane/CNN)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (CNN)-

The U.S. Department of Justice said Friday it has joined the whistle-blower lawsuit against cyclist Lance Armstrong that was originally filed by a former teammate.

The Justice Department will file its formal complaint in 60 days.

Armstrong, the onetime legendary and now disgraced cyclist, has admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs. He was the team’s lead rider when the U.S. Postal Service sponsored the team from 1996 to 2004 and Armstrong won six of his seven Tour de France titles, the Justice Department said.

The civil lawsuit alleges that Armstrong and former team managers submitted false claims for government funds to the sponsoring Postal Service by their “regularly employing banned substances and method to enhance their performance” in violation of the sponsorship agreement, the federal announcement said.

“Today’s action demonstrates the Department of Justice’s steadfast commitment to safeguarding federal funds and making sure that contractors live up to their promises,” Stuart F. Delery, principal deputy assistant attorney general for the civil division, said in a statement.

Between 2001 and 2004, the Postal Service paid $31 million in sponsorship fees, but that affiliation has now been “unfairly associated with what has been described as ‘the most sophisticated, professionalized, and successful doping program that sport has ever seen,’ ” said Ronald C. Machen Jr., U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.

“In today’s economic climate, the U.S. Postal Service is simply not in a position to allow Lance Armstrong or any of the other defendants to walk away with the tens of millions of dollars they illegitimately procured,” Machen said.

The suit also names as defendants Johan Bruyneel, who had managed the U.S. Postal Service and Discovery racing teams on which Armstrong raced, and Tailwind Sports, which was the team’s management entity, the Justice Department said.

The Justice Department is joining the lawsuit’s allegations against Bruyneel and Tailwind, but it isn’t intervening in the suit’s claims against several other defendants, the agency said.

The U.S. Postal Service supported the intervention.

“The defendants agreed to play by the rules and not use performance enhancing drugs,” general counsel and executive vice president Mary Anne Gibbons said in a statement. “We now know that the defendants failed to live up to their agreement, and instead knowingly engaged in a pattern of activity that violated the rules of professional cycling and, therefore, violated the terms of their contracts with the Postal Service.”

The lawsuit accuses the former management of Armstrong’s team of defrauding the federal government of millions of dollars because it knew about the drug use and didn’t do anything.

The federal government had been evaluating for weeks whether to intervene in the lawsuit.

An attorney for Armstrong, Robert Luskin, said that ongoing discussions between the federal government and Armstrong’s legal team had collapsed.

“Lance and his representatives worked constructively over these last weeks with federal lawyers to resolve this case fairly, but those talks failed because we disagree about whether the Postal Service was damaged,” Luskin said. “The Postal Service’s own studies show that the service benefited tremendously from its sponsorship — benefits totaling more than $100 million.”

Armstrong’s attorneys declined to comment further on Friday’s Justice Department announcement.

Former teammate Floyd Landis, who was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title after failing a drug test, filed the lawsuit in 2010 against the team, which was sponsored the U.S. Postal Service.

As of midday Friday, the whistle-blower suit remained under court seal.

Landis was a teammate of Armstrong on the Postal Service sponsored team from 2002 to 2004, and his lawsuit was filed under the False Claims Act, the Justice Department said. That act is commonly called the whistle-blower law.

The law permits the federal government to investigate allegations and intervene, the Justice Department said.

The act was originally passed in 1863 when government officials were concerned that suppliers to the Union Army during the Civil War could be defrauding them.

In 1986, Congress modified the law to make it easier for whistle-blowers to bring cases and give them a larger share of any penalties collected. Whistle-blowers can now take home between 15% and 30% of the sums collected in their cases.

For years, Armstrong had denied drug use and blood doping, but he publicly admitted such use in January, three months after international cycling’s governing body stripped him of his seven Tour de France titles.

That stripping came after a damning report by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency accused Armstrong and his team of the “most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program” in cycling history.

That agency praised the Justice Department’s announcement.

“The U.S. Postal Service Cycling Team was run as a fraudulent enterprise and individuals both inside and outside of sport aided and abetted this scheme and profited greatly,” CEO Travis T. Tygart said in a statement.

By Michael Martinez and Jason Morris

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armstrong

Image courtesy: Harpo Studios, Inc./George Burns

Calling himself “deeply flawed,” now-disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong says he used an array of performance enhancing drugs to win seven Tour de France titles then followed that by years of often-angry denials.

“This is too late, it’s too late for probably most people. And that’s my fault,” he said in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that aired Thursday night. “(This was) one big lie, that I repeated a lot of times.”

Armstrong admitted using testosterone and human growth hormone, as well as EPO — a hormone naturally produced by human kidneys to stimulate red blood cell production. It increases the amount of oxygen that can be delivered to muscles, improving recovery and endurance.

In addition to using drugs, the 2002 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year admitted to Winfrey that he took blood transfusions to excel in the highly competitive, scandal-ridden world of professional cycling. Doping was as much a part of the sport as pumping up tires or having water in a bottle, Armstrong said, calling it “the scariest” that he didn’t consider it cheating at the time.

The same man who insisted throughout and after his career that he’d passed each of the “hundreds and hundreds of tests I took” contended in the interview that he wouldn’t have won without doing what he did. While Armstrong didn’t invent the culture of doping in cycling, he said, he admitted not acting to prevent it either.

“I made my decisions,” Armstrong said. “They are my mistakes.”

Armstrong: I was “a bully”

The first installment in his interview, which was conducted earlier this week with the talk-show host, aired Thursday on the OWN cable network and on the Internet. The second installment will be broadcast Friday night.

Armstrong admitted he was “a bully … in the sense that I tried to control the narrative,” sometimes by spewing venom at ex-teammates he thought were “disloyal,” as well as suing people and publications that accused him of cheating.

He described himself as “a fighter” whose story of a happy marriage, recovery from cancer and international sporting success “was so perfect for so long.”

“I lost myself in all of that,” he said, describing himself as both a “humanitarian” and a “jerk” who’d been “arrogant” for years. “I was used to controlling everything in my life.”

The scandal has tarred the cancer charity Livestrong that he founded, as well as tarnished his once-glowing reputation as a sports hero.

Those who spoke out against Armstrong at the height of his power and popularity not only felt his wrath but the wrath of an adoring public.

Now, with Armstrong stripped of endorsement deals and his titles, those who did speak out are feeling vindicated.

They include Betsy Andreu, wife of fellow cyclist Frankie Andreu, who said she overheard Armstrong acknowledge to a doctor treating him for cancer in 1996 that he had used performance-enhancing drugs. She later testified about the incident and began cooperating with a reporter working on a book about doping allegations against Armstrong.

Armstrong subsequently ripped her, among others. More recently, he said he’d reached out to her to apologize — in what Andreu called “a very emotional phone call.”

“This was a guy who used to be my friend, who decimated me,” Andreu told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Thursday night. “He could have come clean. He owed it to me. He owes it to the sport that he destroyed.”

In his interview with Winfrey, Armstrong said he understands why many might be upset that it took him so long to speak out, especially after going on the offensive for so long. He said he’s reached out in recent days to several people, such as Andreu, who publicly accused him of doping and then were attacked — and in some cases sued — by him.

And the former athletic icon also conceded he’d let down many fans “who believed in me and supported me” by being adamant, sometimes hurtful and consistently wrong in his doping denials.

“They have every right to feel betrayed, and it’s my fault,” he said. “I will spend the rest of my life … trying to earn back trust and apologize to people.”

Years of success and defiance, then a rapid fall

The Texas-born Armstrong grew up to become an established athlete, including winning several Tour de France stages. But his sporting career ground to a halt in 1996 when he was diagnosed with cancer. He was 25.

He returned to the cycling world, however. His breakthrough came in 1999, and he didn’t stop as he reeled off seven straight wins in his sport’s most prestigious race. Allegations of doping began during this time, as did Armstrong’s defiance, including investigations and a lawsuit against the author of a book accusing him of taking performance enhancing drugs.

He left the sport after his last win, in 2005, only to return to the tour in 2009.

Armstrong insisted he was clean when he finished third that year, but that comeback led to his downfall.

“We wouldn’t be sitting here if I didn’t come back,” he told Winfrey.

In 2011, Armstrong retired once more from cycling. But his fight to maintain his clean reputation wasn’t over, including a criminal investigation launched by federal prosecutors.

That case was dropped in February. But in April, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency notified Armstrong of an investigation into new doping charges. In response, the cyclist accused the organization of trying to “dredge up discredited” doping allegations and, a few months later, filed a lawsuit in federal court trying to halt the case.

In retrospect, Armstrong told Winfrey he “would do anything to go back to that day.”

“Because I wouldn’t fight, I wouldn’t sue them, I’d listen,” he said, offering to speak out about doping in the future.

The USADA found “overwhelming” evidence that Armstrong was involved in “the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program.”

In August, Armstrong said he wouldn’t fight the charges, though he didn’t admit guilt either.

And the hits kept on coming.

In October, the International Cycling Union stripped him of all his Tour de France titles. Even then, he remained publicly defiant, tweeting a photo of himself a few weeks later lying on a sofa in his lounge beneath the seven framed yellow jerseys from those victories.

Then the International Olympic Committee stripped him of the bronze medal he won in the men’s individual time trial at the 2000 Olympic Games and asked him to return the award, an IOC spokesman said Thursday.

The USOC was notified Wednesday that the IOC wants the medal back, USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky said.

“We will shortly be asking Mr. Armstrong to return his medal to us, so that we can return it to the IOC.”

By Greg Botelho and Josh Levs

CNN’s Carol Cratty, Joseph Netto and George Howell contributed to this report.

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lancearmstrongLance Armstrong was emotional at times during his interview Monday with talk show queen Oprah Winfrey, a source familiar with the interview told CNN.

The person refused to discuss the specifics of what Armstrong said, including whether he confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs as some media outlets have reported he would.

Armstrong was accompanied to the interview by a group of advisers and close friends, the source said.

Winfrey tweeted after the interview: “Just wrapped with @lancearmstrong More than 2 1/2 hours . He came READY!” The interview will be edited down to 90 minutes, Winfrey has said.

The disgraced cycling legend earlier apologized to the staff of the cancer charity he started, a publicist for Livestrong foundation said.

Armstrong was tearful during the 15-minute meeting and didn’t address the issue of steroid use in cycling, Rae Bazzarre, director of communications for the Livestrong Foundation, said.

Bazzarre added that Armstrong offered a “sincere and heartfelt apology for the stress they’ve endured because of him.”

He urged them to keep working hard to help cancer survivors and their families.

Armstrong’s sit-down in his hometown of Austin, Texas, with Winfrey was his first interview since he was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles in October in a blood-doping scandal.

For more than a decade, Armstrong has denied he used performance-enhancing drugs, but he was linked to a doping scandal by nearly a dozen other former cyclists who have admitted to doping.

What Armstrong said or did not say to Winfrey could have ramifications.

Some media outlets have reported that Armstrong has been strongly considering the possibility of a confession, possibly as a way to stem the tide of fleeing sponsors and as part of a long-term redemptive comeback plan.

But such a confession might lend weight to the lawsuits that could await him.

The interview will air at 9 p.m. ET Thursday on the Oprah Winfrey Network. Winfrey has promised a “no-holds-barred” interview, with no conditions and no payment made to Armstrong.

But the speculations swirled Monday.

“I don’t think we’re going to get an out-and-out confession,” says CNN sports anchor Patrick Snell. “I think we’re going to get something like, ‘This is what went on during this era of trying to compete at the highest level.'”

Snell cautions, though, that a confession may not come at all.

Armstrong, 41, has repeatedly and vehemently denied that he used banned performance-enhancing drugs as well as illegal blood transfusions during his cycling career.

Winfrey will ask Armstrong to address the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s October report, which said there was overwhelming evidence he was directly involved in a sophisticated doping program, a statement from her network said last week.

The International Cycling Union, which chose not to appeal the USADA’s lifetime ban, stripped Armstrong of his record seven Tour victories.

The World Anti-Doping Agency also agreed with the sanctions, which means Armstrong may not compete in sports governed by that agency’s code.

Before the ban, he was competing in Ironman triathlons and had won two of the five events he had entered.

Since the ban he has entered two non-sanctioned events.

Why now?

So, why would Armstrong choose to make a confession now?

“I would suspect that he sees this as certainly his best way forward,” Snell says. “He would have taken strong legal advice, of course. When you look at the kind of stuff that Oprah’s done over the years, it’s a chance to get … heartfelt emotions across.”

The New York Times has reported that Armstrong was contemplating publicly admitting he used illegal performance-enhancing drugs. Such an admission might lead toward Armstrong regaining his eligibility.

One of his attorneys denied Armstrong was in discussion with the two anti-doping agencies.

Attorney Tim Herman, in a recent e-mail to CNN Sports, did not address whether Armstrong told associates — as reported by the newspaper — that he was considering an admission.

But such an admission could open him up to lawsuits, something Armstrong is likely well aware of.

“He is surrounded by the best legal advice, the best legal team,” Snell says. “It’s very hard for anyone to imagine him going into this without having been fully briefed, made aware of absolutely every scenario.”

Drug tests

In the past, Armstrong has argued that he took more than 500 drug tests and never failed.

In its 202-page report that detailed Armstrong’s alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs and blood transfusions, the USADA said it had tested Armstrong less than 60 times and the International Cycling Union conducted about 215 tests.

The agency did not say that Armstrong ever failed a test, but his former teammates testified as to how they beat tests or avoided the tests altogether.

The New York Times, citing unnamed associates and anti-doping officials, said Armstrong has been in discussions with USADA officials and hopes to meet with David Howman, chief of the World Anti-Doping Agency. The newspaper said none of the people with knowledge of Armstrong’s situation wanted to be identified because it would jeopardize their access to information on the matter.

Under World Anti-Doping Agency rules, an athlete who confesses to using performance-enhancing drugs may be eligible for a reinstatement.

Armstrong: The legend and the fall

Armstrong has been an icon for his cycling feats and celebrity, bringing more status to a sport wildly popular in some nations but lacking big-name recognition, big money and mass appeal in the United States.

He fought back from testicular cancer to win the Tour from 1999 to 2005. He raised millions via his Lance Armstrong Foundation to help cancer victims and survivors, an effort illustrated by trendy yellow “LiveSTRONG” wristbands that helped bring in the money.

But Armstrong has long been dogged by doping allegations, with compatriot Floyd Landis — who was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title after failing a drug test — making a series of claims in 2011.

Armstrong sued the USADA last year to stop its investigation of him, arguing it did not have the right to prosecute him. But after a federal judge dismissed the case, Armstrong said he would no longer participate in the investigation.

In October 2012, Armstrong was stripped of his titles and banned from cycling. Weeks later, he stepped down from the board of his foundation, Livestrong.

By Steve Almasy

CNN’s Ed Lavandera, Kevin Bohn, Ed Payne, Jillian Martin and Chelsea J. Carter contributed to this report.

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Lance Armstrong Shares Cycling Tips

File Photo Courtesy: CNN

AUSTIN, Texas (CNN)-

Just hours before he was to tape an interview expected to address allegations of performance-enhancing drug use, disgraced cycling legend Lance Armstrong apologized to the staff of the the cancer charity he started, a publicist for the charity — Livestrong — said.

Katherine McLane gave no details as to what Armstrong specifically said.

Armstrong is scheduled to sit down in his hometown of Austin, Texas, with talk show queen Oprah Winfrey on Monday for his first interview since he was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles in a blood-doping scandal.

For decades Armstrong has denied he used performance-enhancing drugs or doped, but he was linked to a doping scandal by nearly a dozen other former cyclists who have admitted to doping.

What Armstrong says or does not say to Winfrey can have ramifications.

Some media outlets have reported that Armstrong has been strongly considering the possibility of a confession, possibly as a way to stem the tide of fleeing sponsors and as part of a long-term redemptive comeback plan.

But such a confession might lend weight to the lawsuits that could await him.

The interview will not air until 9 p.m. ET Thursday on the Oprah Winfrey Network. But the speculations swirled Monday.

“I don’t think we’re going to get an out-and-out confession,” says CNN sports anchor Patrick Snell. “I think we’re going to get something like, ‘This is what went on during this era of trying to compete at the highest level.'”

Snell cautions, though, that a confession may not come at all.

Armstrong, 41, has repeatedly and vehemently denied that he used banned performance-enhancing drugs as well as illegal blood transfusions during his cycling career.

Winfrey will ask Armstrong to address the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s October report, which said there was overwhelming evidence he was directly involved in a sophisticated doping program, a statement from her network said last week.

The International Cycling Union, which chose not to appeal the USADA’s lifetime ban, stripped Armstrong of his record seven Tour victories.

The World Anti-Doping Agency also agreed with the sanctions, which means Armstrong may not compete in sports governed by that agency’s code.

Before the ban, he was competing in Ironman triathlons and had won two of the five events he had entered.

Since the ban he has entered two non-sanctioned events.

Why now?

So, why might Armstrong choose to make a confession now?

“I would suspect that he sees this as certainly his best way forward,” Snell says. “He would have taken strong legal advice, of course. When you look at the kind of stuff that Oprah’s done over the years, it’s a chance to get … heartfelt emotions across.”

The New York Times has reported that Armstrong was contemplating publicly admitting he used illegal performance-enhancing drugs. Such an admission might lead toward Armstrong regaining his eligibility.

One of his attorneys denied Armstrong was in discussion with the two anti-doping agencies.

Attorney Tim Herman, in a recent e-mail to CNN Sports, did not address whether Armstrong told associates — as reported by the newspaper — that he was considering an admission.

But such an admission could open him up to lawsuits, something Armstrong is likely well aware of.

“He is surrounded by the best legal advice, the best legal team,” Snell says. “It’s very hard for anyone to imagine him going into this without having been fully briefed, made aware of absolutely every scenario.”

Winfrey has promised a “no-holds-barred” interview, with no conditions and no payment made to Armstrong.

Drug tests

In the past, Armstrong has argued that he took more than 500 drug tests and never failed.

In its 202-page report that detailed Armstrong’s alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs and blood transfusions, the USADA said it had tested Armstrong less than 60 times and the International Cycling Union conducted about 215 tests.

The agency did not say that Armstrong ever failed a test, but his former teammates testified as to how they beat tests or avoided the tests altogether.

The New York Times, citing unnamed associates and anti-doping officials, said Armstrong has been in discussions with USADA officials and hopes to meet with David Howman, chief of the World Anti-Doping Agency. The newspaper said none of the people with knowledge of Armstrong’s situation wanted to be identified because it would jeopardize their access to information on the matter.

Under World Anti-Doping Agency rules, an athlete who confesses to using performance-enhancing drugs may be eligible for a reinstatement.

Armstrong: The legend and the fall

Armstrong has been an icon for his cycling feats and celebrity, bringing more status to a sport wildly popular in some nations but lacking big-name recognition, big money and mass appeal in the United States.

He fought back from testicular cancer to win the Tour from 1999 to 2005. He raised millions via his Lance Armstrong Foundation to help cancer victims and survivors, an effort illustrated by trendy yellow “LiveSTRONG” wristbands that helped bring in the money.

But Armstrong has long been dogged by doping allegations, with compatriot Floyd Landis — who was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title after failing a drug test — making a series of claims in 2011.

Armstrong sued the USADA last year to stop its investigation of him, arguing it did not have the right to prosecute him. But after a federal judge dismissed the case, Armstrong said he would no longer participate in the investigation.

In October 2012, Armstrong was stripped of his titles and banned from cycling. Weeks later, he stepped down from the board of his foundation, Livestrong.

It is unclear whether Armstrong would face criminal prosecution for perjury should he confess. Armstrong was involved in several cases where he gave sworn testimony that he never used banned drugs.

By Ed Payne, Steve Almasy Jillian Martin and Chelsea J. Carter

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According to reports, Lance Armstrong may admit to doping during an Oprah interview next week.

Read the full story here- http://www.courant.com/sports/sns-rt-msc-newssx28823a1-20130111,0,6863938.story

(CNN) — Lance Armstrong has quit the board of his namesake foundation, the latest fallout from allegations of doping that brought about the cycling icon’s epic downfall.

He chose to resign from the Lance Armstrong Foundation — known by the name Livestrong — “to spare the organization any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding his cycling career,” according to a statement by Jeff Garvey, the foundation’s chairman.

“We are deeply grateful to Lance for creating a cause that has served millions of cancer survivors and their families. We are beholden to the Armstrong family for the nearly $7 million in contributions throughout the foundation’s history. Lance Armstrong was instrumental in changing the way the world views people affected by cancer.”

Armstrong previously gave up his position as chairman in the wake of the growing scandal, but said he would remain involved.

Although the Tour de France has revoked the seven victories that made him a legend, Armstrong tweeted a photo over the weekend showing himself lounging on a sofa beneath the seven prized yellow jerseys.

He has long insisted he did not cheat, and attacked those who accused him of using illegal substances. But the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency found “overwhelming” evidence that he was involved in “the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program.”

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Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life by cycling’s governing body Monday following a report from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that accused him of leading a massive doping program on his teams.

Read more at latimes.com

File Photo Courtesy: CNN

NIKE has cut Lance Armstrong loose, and he has resigned as the chairman of Livestrong. Both actions are a result of the almost undisputable evidence that Armstrong cheated by using performance enhancing drugs when he won his seven Tour de France cycling championships.

NIKE has always been one of Armstrong’s biggest backers, but no more. Here is part of the NIKE statement this morning:

“Due to the seemingly insurmountable evidence that Lance Armstrong participated in doping and misled Nike for more than a decade, it is with great sadness that we have terminated our contract with him. Nike does not condone the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs in any manner.” (Source: thebusinessinsider.com)

The unfortunate part about Armstrong’s downfall, because of the USADA’s mountain of proof that Armstrong was indeed a cycling cheater all those years, is that Livestrong will almost surely suffer. With Armstrong as its leader, Livestrong has been extremely effective raising money to fight cancer. Both Armstrong and NIKE say they continue to support Livestrong, but you have to wonder what will happen to the organization without its primary spokesperson.

As for Armstrong, this pretty well does it, I would think. Further denials about his use of PEDs are worthless now.

File Photo Courtesy: CNN

Former pro cyclist Lance Armstrong announced Wednesday he will step down as chairman of the Livestrong cancer charity he founded, a week after an anti-doping group released what it said was evidence that he used banned substances while competing.

The move comes the same day that Nike announced it was ending its endorsement contract with Armstrong amid “seemingly insurmountable evidence” that he participating in doping.

Armstrong, who will remain on Livestrong’s board of directors, said his decision was made to “spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career,” according to a statement posted to the group’s website.

“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.

Last week, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said it had uncovered overwhelming evidence of Armstrong’s involvement in a sophisticated doping program while a professional cyclist. Armstrong has consistently denied the claims.

Nike said it would continue to support Livestrong initiatives.

Founding chairman Jeff Garvey will take over for Armstrong, the Texas-based organization said.

The organization, which had strongly defended Armstrong’s role as recently as last week, did not ask him to step aside, Livestrong spokeswoman Katherine McLane said.

“This was Lance’s idea,” she said.

Armstrong founded the charity in 1997 after his own successful treatment for testicular cancer that had spread to his brain and lungs. He came back from the disease seemingly stronger than ever, winning the first of his seven Tour de France titles three years after he was diagnosed with cancer.

His success became an inspiration for cancer patients worldwide, spreading his reach far beyond the insular world of cycling and cementing a place in celebrity culture, dating a rock star and appearing in movies. The bright yellow “LIVESTRONG” wristbands distribute by his charity became a potent symbol for perseverance in the face of adversity.

People should look to that legacy in assessing Armstrong, Livestrong President Doug Ulman said in praising the charity’s founder.

“Lance’s devotion to serving others whose lives were irrevocably changed by cancer, as his was, is unsurpassable,” he said in the statement. “We are incredibly proud of his record as an advocate and philanthropist and are deeply grateful that Lance and his family will continue to be actively involved with the Foundation’s advocacy and service work.”

In its report, the anti-doping agency made public testimony from Armstrong’s teammates and others involved in the U.S. Postal Service- and Discovery-sponsored cycling teams who said the seven-time Tour de France winner was among team members who used banned performance-enhancing substances and tried to hide it from testing officials.

Armstrong has said he never has failed a drug test and has consistently denied participating in any banned practices. Armstrong’s lawyer, Tim Herman, called the report last week a “one-sided hatchet job” and a “government-funded witch hunt.”

Last week, Ulman also defended Armstrong against the doping charges, issuing a statement saying USADA appeared to be “motivated more by publicity rather than fulfilling its mission.” In that October 10 statement, he lauded Armstrong for his achievements “both on and off the bike.”

McLane also noted the day of the report’s release that donations to the charity had boomed since August, when Armstrong announced he was ending his legal fight to stop USADA’s investigation.

According to Livestrong, Armstrong has helped raise nearly $500 million for cancer research, treatment and support in his role as Livestrong founder and helped “dispel the stigma and misconceptions about the disease.”

McClane said Wednesday that Livestrong’s audience — cancer patients and their families — aren’t troubled by Armstrong’s woes.

“The last thing that’s going to enter your mind is news from the cycling world,” she said.

CNN’s Danielle Dellorto contributed to this report.

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