The foundation that Lance Armstrong created to inform and support cancer patients and their families officially dropped his identity from its name this week.
Although it had become known as the LIVESTRONG Foundation in recent years, the actual name was still the Lance Armstrong Foundation.
Now, when you go to the Livestrong.org website, you’ll see that all references to Lance Armstrong Foundation have either been removed, or changed.
It’s one of the latest results of the declining popularity and vilification of Armstrong as he’s become the center of what’s been called the biggest doping scandal in sports history.
Armstrong already had stepped down as chairman of the foundation a couple of weeks previously, then he resigned from the board of directors. In reacting to the name change, foundation officials tried to avoid the appearance that they’re trying to distance the foundation from the disgraced cyclist.
Foundation spokeswoman Katherine McLane said told Reuters: “For most of its life, the organization has been known as the Livestrong Foundation, but making that change official is necessary and appropriate during a time of change for the organization.”
But board member Mark McKinnon is quoted in the Wall Street Journal:
“…the cause and the organization had to have its own independent persona,” and that Armstrong was actually “one of the chiehttp://www.bikingbis.com/wordpress/wp-admin/edit-comments.phpf architects” of the effort to separate the organization from the identity of its founder. “It’s the noble thing to do, designed to protect the organization he cares so much about,” McKinnon said.
It’s not like they’ve completely removed his identity from the organization. There’s still Lance’s Story in the Who We Are section of the website [he was diagnosed and treated for testicular cancer], as well as a bio in Our Founder.
Meanwhile, Armstrong has lost his endorsements from Nike, Trek, Oakley, Anheuser-Busch, among others. I often wonder if things would have turned out differently if he had admitted everything up front and said he had to use performance enhancers to remain competitive against other dopers in the peloton.
One of the odder sidelights of the Armstrong story surfaced this week in Time.
Paula Broadwell, who allegedly had an affair with former 4-star general and CIA director David Petraeus, tried to hook up Armstrong and her boyfriend for a bike ride to celebrate Petraeus’s 60th birthday.
Through friends, Broadwell had met Armstrong for a run in July. Her plan was to set up the bike ride as a surprise birthday gift. But as Time eloquently reports:
“That particular ride was not to be. By then, though they did not know it yet, disgrace was bearing down on all three of them.”