In statements issued last week, Lance Armstrong's agent and foundation acknowledged that the doping charges brought against the former bicycling champion by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency have curtailed Armstrong's ability to fundraise for cancer survivors at sporting events, USA Today reports.
In a statement responding to news that the USADA ruling precludes Armstrong from participating in the upcoming Bank of America Chicago Marathon — and any sport or event endorsed by a signer of the World Anti-Doping Code — Armstrong's agent, Bill Stapleton, said the "efforts to strong-arm local race organizers and prevent Lance from participating in Team Livestrong fundraising is just the latest chapter in USADA's never-ending vendetta against Lance."
USADA released a statement of its own in which it said it was aware Armstrong would be unable to compete in such events when he decided not to fight the doping charges against him. "This is what the world rules require for all sanctioned athletes, high-profile or not," the agency said.
Although the Lance Armstrong Foundation saw an uptick in donations in the days following Armstrong's announcement that he would not fight USADA charges and sanctions, donation levels have since returned to normal. Foundation officials said there would be some two hundred and fifty runners representing the foundation at the race in Chicago.
"Lance has helped the foundation raise nearly $500 million for the fight against cancer," said the foundation's CEO Doug Ulman. "It's frustrating and unfortunate that this decision could affect the foundation's grassroots fundraising efforts. Team Livestrong participants raise money to fuel the Lance Armstrong Foundation's free services for cancer survivors. When Lance participates in a Team Livestrong event, it honors team members' efforts and fuels their ability to raise more dollars for the foundation's work."