Nike, RadioShack Split Ways With Lance Armstrong Amid Doping Scandal

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Published October 17, 2012

| FOXBusiness

Nike (NKE) and RadioShack (RSH) said on Wednesday they have severed their ties to former champion cyclist Lance Armstrong as the scandal-ridden athlete resigned his chairman position from the Livestrong cancer charity he founded. 

Additionally, Anheuser-Busch said it won't renew its relationship with Armstrong when its current agreement is up at the end of 2012.

In a statement, Nike pointed to what it called “seemingly insurmountable evidence” that Armstrong both participated in doping and misled the company for more than a decade.

Last week U.S. anti-doping officials released a scathing 1,000-page report that accused Armstrong of doping and supplying ex-teammates with illegal substances as part of an elaborate scheme. Armstrong has denied taking banned substances.

Nike said it does not “condone” the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs in any matter.

“It is with great sadness that we have terminated our contract with” Armstrong, Nike said.

The company also said it plans to continue to support Livestrong initiatives, which it said were “created to unite, inspire and empower people affected by cancer.”

Previously, Nike had a deal with the foundation to license the Livestrong brand for a collection of clothing and shoes the company sold.

Meanwhile, electronics retailer RadioShack said in an emailed statement that it has "no current obligations with Lance Armstrong."  

RadioShack began a multi-year deal with Armstrong in July 2009, but didn't specify when it ended the deal. 

The retailer also said it "continues to be proud of what we've accomplished with our customers in generating more than $16 million to date for the fight against cancer."

Photo Source: Reuters

Shares of RadioShack slipped 0.34% to $2.36, while Nike gained 0.61% to $97.83 Wednesday afternoon.

Anheuser-Busch, which is owned by Belgian brewing giant Anheuser-Busch Inbev (BUD), announced plans to also drop Armstrong but said it will continue to support Livestrong and its cycling and running events. 

Armstrong founded Livestrong in 1997 after he discovered he had testicular cancer.

The former cyclist said he is stepping down “to spare the foundation any negative effected as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career.”

Jeff Garvey, currently the foundation’s vice chairman, will now serve as chairman.

"I am deeply grateful to the people of the foundation who have done such hard and excellent work over the last 15 years, building tangible and effective ways to improve the lives of cancer survivors," Armstrong said in a statement detailing his resignation.

Livestrong said that “thanks to Lance’s leadership,” the foundation has raised almost $500 million to serve people affected by cancer.

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