Cyclist Lance Armstrong is stepping down from the board of the cancer charity he founded fifteen years ago to spare the organization any further negative consequences from the doping scandal that has cast a cloud over his once-legendary career, the Associated Press reports.
Although Armstrong resigned as chair of the charity on October 17, he planned to keep his seat on the board. Over the last three weeks, however, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency stripped him of his titles and banned him from the sport of cycling for life, while the International Cycling Union, which at first supported Armstrong as he challenged allegations that he had used performance-enhancing substances throughout his career, agreed to erase the seven consecutive Tour de France titles Armstrong won from 1999 to 2005. In the wake of those moves, some longtime Livestrong supporters asked for their money to be returned, while Armstrong lost the support of all of his corporate sponsors.
Armstrong has not commented publicly on the USADA report and recently returned to his native Austin from Hawaii. Over the weekend, he posted a photograph on Twitter of himself lying on a couch at his home with seven yellow Tour de France jerseys mounted on the wall.
Livestrong spokeswoman Katherine McLane told the AP that Armstrong "remains the inspiration" for the charity and is still its largest donor, having given nearly $7 million to the organization since he founded it in 1997. "Lance Armstrong was instrumental in changing the way the world views people affected by cancer," said Livestrong board chair Jeff Garvey. "His devotion to serving survivors is unparalleled, and for fifteen years he committed himself to that cause with all his heart."