Nike Inc., has pulled out of sponsoring the former cyclist champion lance Armstrong’s foundation; The Livestrong Foundation which is cancer foundation, according to the foundation which affirmed that the Sportswear giant as its biggest corporate backer and creator of its well-known yellow wristbands.
Armstrong founded Livestrong in 1997 after he was diagnosed with testicular cancer, and the group flourished during his cycling career, which saw him win the gruelling Tour de France race seven times. The cyclist stepped down from Livestrong after being stripped of his titles last fall amid accusations that he used performance-enhancing drugs.
Armstrong stepped down as chairman of the charity in October as Nike affirmed as at that time that it would still back the charity but no longer sponsor the man behind it.
Nike, which has helped support the foundation since 2004, helped raise more than $100 million through creation of the group’s distinctive yellow wristbands and production of Livestrong apparel and footwear according to a spokesperson said it has decided to end production of its Livestrong gear and apparel after the holiday 2013 line but would continue to support the foundation by funding it directly.
In reaction, a spokeswoman for Livestrong Foundation said the contract with Nike was set to conclude at the end of 2014, and will not be renewed. She said the impact of the Nike move had been factored into the foundation’s fiscal outlook.