In the hours following Lance Armstrong's announcement that he would not contest doping charges brought against him by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, his foundation saw a significant uptick in donations, USA Today reports.
By Saturday, two days after Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned from future competition, the Lance Armstrong Foundation had received nearly $150,000 in donations from 1,461 supporters, including $13,000 in merchandise sales. On Friday alone, the charity received $80,000 from online donors, up from a daily average of $3,000. The Austin-based nonprofit also was flooded with e-mails, 98 percent of which it described as positive.
In a statement last week, Armstrong said he would stop fighting the USADA case, adding that he would rather spend his time with family and supporting cancer survivors through his work at the foundation. "We have a lot of work to do and I'm looking forward to an end to this pointless distraction," said Armstrong. "I have a responsibility to all those who have stepped forward to devote their time and energy to the cancer cause."
According to USA Today, many of Armstrong's supporters see him as an activist first and consider his athletic history to be secondary. "The best thing about this outcome is we can now move forward without any distraction, and Lance can move forward," said the foundation's CEO Doug Ulman. "That's just in the best interest of everyone."