The perils of celebrity endorsements … sponsors tell Lance to peddle somebody else’s wares.

Punch line: Despite sticking by athletes during controversial times, Kobe Bryant and Tiger Woods included, Nike has dropped Lance Armstrong from his contract as the doping allegations continue.

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Excerpted from the New York Times’, “Armstrong is Dropped by Nike as he Quits Role at His Charity”

A week after the United States Anti-Doping Agency made public its evidence in a doping case against Lance Armstrong, Armstrong on Wednesday stepped down as chairman of Livestrong, his cancer foundation, the organization that inspired millions fighting the disease.

The fallout from the antidoping agency’s report also prompted Nike, the company that stood by Armstrong through more than a decade’s worth of doping allegations, to terminate his contract.

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“I have had the great honor of serving as this foundation’s chairman for the last five years and its mission and success are my top priorities,” Armstrong said in a statement. “Today therefore, to spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career, I will conclude my chairmanship.”

Armstrong, the seven-time Tour winner who denies ever doping, founded the organization in 1997 after he survived testicular cancer and it sold millions of yellow Livestrong wristbands and went on to partner with Nike to sell millions of dollars of Livestrong gear.

In a statement on Wednesday morning, Nike said the evidence that Armstrong had doped was so overwhelming that it could no longer partner with him. In the past, the company stood by athletes like Kobe Bryant, who was accused of sexual assault but never convicted, and Tiger Woods, who gained international notoriety for his extramarital affairs. Nike severed ties with Michael Vick when he went to prison for his role in a dogfighting ring but later re-signed him.

“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,” the statement said. “Nike does not condone the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs in any manner. Nike plans to continue support of the Livestrong initiatives created to unite, inspire and empower people affected by cancer.”

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One Response to “The perils of celebrity endorsements … sponsors tell Lance to peddle somebody else’s wares.”

  1. Elyse Says:

    So on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being ok and 10 being completely abominable, how would you rank these transgressions?

    Violence against women: 1
    Violence against animals: 5
    Using drugs to inspire millions to overcome deadly diseases: 10

    Wait…. what was the scale again??

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