Lance Armstrong has cut all formal ties to the LIVESTRONG Foundation, the organization he founded. Armstrong resigned from the LIVESTRONG board of directors on November 4 though the news was not released to the mainstream media until November 12, CNN reports.
Armstrong had stepped down as Chairman of LIVESTRONG on October 17. In a written statement, Armstrong said:
Today therefore, to spare the Foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career, I will conclude my chairmanship.”
With the announcement that Armstrong has now stepped down from the board as well came the following statement:
He chose to resign from the Lance Armstrong Foundation — known by the name LIVESTRONG — ‘to spare the organization any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding his cycling career,’ according to a statement by Jeff Garvey, the Foundation’s Chairman,” according to a report in The Washington Post.
Initially, Armstrong made no effort to distance himself from the Foundation when the doping-scandal story began to heat-up in August. Instead, he maintained his innocence, which he does to this day.
When the United States Anti-Doping Agency issued its report in October finding that the evidence of Armstrong doping was “overwhelming,” it took Armstrong a week to resign as Foundation Chairman.
On October 23, Armstrong was stripped by the Tour de France of his professional cycling titles after the International Cycling Union chose not to appeal the USADA ruling. After this news, it took Armstrong about 12 days to step down from his Foundation board position and it took another week for the information to be made public. Unlike when Armstrong resigned the Chairmanship, the LIVESTRONG website does not clearly mention his resignation from the board.
So, if Armstrong’s twice-stated objective was to avoid “any negative effects [to the Foundation] as a result of [the doping] controversy,” why did it take a week after the USADA report for him to resign as Chairman? Why did it take nearly two weeks for Armstrong to resign from the board after he was stripped of his titles? If he wanted to spare the Foundation from any possible negative effects, whey didn’t Armstrong resign from the board last summer? He had to know where things were headed. He certainly knew by October. So, why the slow and piece-meal resignations?
If the Foundation wants to be transparent throughout this controversy, why did it take a week before the news of Armstrong’s resignation reached the mainstream media? Why is there no information easily available on the LIVESTRONG website about Armstrong’s resignation?
As a little boy, I learned that it’s better to tear a band-aid off in one swift move. It will still sting, but you get the pain over with much quicker that way. If Armstrong and the Foundation leaders learned this lesson, too, they certainly haven’t shown it through their actions.
As I got older, I learned another lesson. Problems, unlike wine, do not improve with age. If Armstrong was willing to resign, he should have done so much sooner. Why the delay?
As if all of this isn’t bad enough, Armstrong sent out the following Tweet and photo over the weekend:
Back in Austin and just layin’ around…”
In case you haven’t guessed, that’s Armstrong relaxing under his seven Tour de France jerseys which he officially did not win. Talk about bad optics. Based on the USADA report, the Tour de France action, and Armstrong’s continued behavior, I have to conclude that he did the right thing by finally stepping down from the board of LIVESTRONG.
To read my previous postings about Armstrong and LIVESTRONG, click below:
- Should Lance Armstrong Resign from LIVESTRONG?
- Update: Lance Armstrong Resigns as Chairman of LIVESTRONG Foundation
That’s what Michael Rosen says… What do you say?
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