Nike Ditches Armstrong

Everything continues to get worse for the former Tour De France champion.

Josh Helmuthby Josh Helmuth

The man once deemed a hero is now watching all of his partners leave his side, the latest being Nike.

Nike announced Wednesday that they are terminating their endorsement deal with the former seven-time Tour De France winner.

"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," the company said, in a statement. "Nike does not condone the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs in any manner. Nike plans to continue support of the Livestrong initiatives created to unite, inspire and empower people affected by cancer."

Armstrong also stepped down as chairman of Livestrong, his cancer-fighting foundation. The move was done in an attempt to steer the focus from its founder, back to the company's mission; fighting cancer.

Armstrong said in a statement:

"This organization, its mission and its supporters are incredibly dear to my heart. Today therefore, to spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career, I will conclude my chairmanship."

"As my cancer treatment was drawing to an end, I created a foundation to serve people affected by cancer. It has been a great privilege to help grow it from a dream into an organization that today has served 2.5 million people and helped spur a cultural shift in how the world views cancer survivors."

"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.

ESPN wrote in an article Wednesday morning:

"It is believed that Armstrong is now the second athlete that has ever been terminated by Nike. Nike terminated its contract with quarterback Michael Vick in 2007 following his plea agreement on dogfighting charges, but the company re-signed him in 2011. Endorsement contracts typically have morals clauses that allow companies to sever their deals with cause."

Livestrong has raised approximately $80 million for cancer research through the sale of the famous yellow Livestrong wristbands we've seen for almost a decade. Since 1997, the foundation has raised approximately $500 million.

Although Lance has left, the Livestrong movement should prevail. Nike should continue to sell a line of Livestrong-branded products that include shoes and t-shirts, most of which were available on Nike's website Wednesday morning.

Oakley, Honey Stinger and FRS are sponsors of Armstrong's that have continued to sick behind their client.

Josh Helmuth is the editor for CraveOnline Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JHelmuth or subscribe at

Photo Credit: Getty

By: Jesse Grant
Collection: WireImage