Lance Armstrong. (Photo by Riccardo S. Savi/Getty Images)
Brent Schrotenboer, USA TODAY Sports
Nike has fired Lance Armstrong and will take his name off the Lance Armstrong Fitness Center at its world headquarters, the company said in a statement Wednesday morning.
The statement came the same morning that Armstrong announced he was stepping down as chairman of his cancer-fighting charity, the Livestrong foundation, to "spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career.'
Both moves come one week after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency released a massive file of evidence against Armstrong that showed he used banned drugs and blood transfusions to gain an advantage throughout his cycling career.
"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," Nike said in a statement. "Nike does not condone the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs in any manner."
Armstrong has denied doping accusations but declined to fight USADA's charges against him in an arbitration hearing, saying the process was a "witch hunt" against him. He said he never failed a drug test, but USADA's evidence contained several witness statements about how he and his teammates used sophisticated methods to avoid testing positive in those tests.
In August, USADA banned him for life and stripped him of his seven titles in the Tour de France after he declined to fight the charges in arbitration. Nike said it plans to "continue support of the Livestrong initiatives created to unite, inspire and empower people affected by cancer."
USA TODAY Sports