Lance Armstrong leaves Livestrong board... while his maillot jaune picture inspires Photoshop parodies
Disgraced cyclist steps down as director just three weeks after resigning as chairman
Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, who last month stepped down as chairman of Livestrong, has now resigned from the board of the charity he founded 15 years ago after recovering from cancer. Meanwhile, a picture Armstrong posted on Twitter showing him reclining on a sofa at home with the seven framed Tour de France maillot jaunes he has now been stripped of quickly had some users of the social network firing up Photoshop to create their own versions.
On Saturday, Armstrong posted a picture to Twitter showing him reclining on a sofa in the media and games room of his Texas home, surrounded by framed yellow jerseys complete with race numbers from each of those editions of the Tour, with the caption “Back in Austin and just layin' around...”
The rather pointed staging of the picture provoked outrage among some fans on Twitter but no small amount of mirth in others, with Photoshop skills quickly employed to put a rather different spin on things by users of the social network including Max Bolen and Martijn Mast.
It seems unlikely, as he looks up at those jerseys, that the US Postal logo plastered across the front of most of them will remind Armstrong that he needs to pop down to the post office to send them back.
Armstrong’s departure of the board of the Livestrong Foundation is seen as a damage limitation exercise on the charity’s part as it tries to reconcile its fundraising efforts going forward with the exposure as a drugs cheat of the man who founded it as the Lance Armstrong Foundation in 1997.
A spokeswoman for the Livestrong Foundation, Katherine McLane, confirmed that Armstrong’s final day as a board member was 4 November, reports the Dallas Morning News today.
He had stepped down as chairman on 19 October, the same day that Nike led the exodus of personal sponsors of Armstrong although the sportswear firm, like some other sponsors, said it would still support the charity.
At the time, Armstrong said he would continue to be a director of Livestrong, but the fact he has now also left that role just three weeks later suggests his continued involvement with it was seen as untenable.
Quoted in the Dallas Morning News, McLane said: “Lance remains the creator and inspiration of the Livestrong foundation and for its mission — providing free financial, practical and emotional support services for cancer survivors and their families.”
Steve Schooner, a 52-year-old law professor and cancer survivor who took part in a bike ride with Armstrong in 2009 after raising $50,000 for Livestrong said that he would continue to support the charity but pointed out the difficulties it faces in disassociating itself from its founder.
“It'll take years until people think of it as something other than being” Armstrong's charity,” he explained.
“He is the engine behind most of the high-profile fundraising and events. Even a tour of the headquarters, with his jerseys and bike art, makes clear he's the focal point.”