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Disgraced cyclist off the board, and off the nameplate too now

The Lance Armstrong Foundation has formally changed its name to the Livestrong Foundation. While the organisation has long been known unofficially as Livestrong, the name change reflects a further distancing by the charity from the man who founded it 15 years ago before going on to win the seven Tour de France titles he has now been stripped of for doping.

According to Reuters, paperwork to formalise the name change, which took effect on 30 October, was filed with the Texas Secretary of State.

Livestrong Foundation spokeswoman Katherine McLane told the news agency: "For most of its life, the organization has been known as the Livestrong Foundation, but making that change official is necessary and appropriate during a time of change for the organization."

In recent days, it had been confirmed that Armstrong, who stepped down as the foundation’s chairman on 17 October but planned to remain on its board, had also ceased being a director on 4 November.

The fact that the name change pre-dates his departure from the board and came just a fortnight after that statement that he was remaining as a director suggests that there may have been a fair amount of behind-the-scenes wrangling about what role if any he should play in the charity’s future as it sought to limit the damage in the wake of the US Postal scandal.

Certainly there was no hint when Armstrong spoke at a gala evening to celebrate the charity’s 15th birthday on 20 October that within a fortnight he would no longer be involved in its board meetings and that his name would be dropped, although what did change in the intervening time was that the UCI ratified USADA’s sanctions in full on 22 October.

In an email to Reuters yesterday, one of Livestrong’s board members, Mark McKinnon, commented: "All of us - especially Lance - wanted Livestrong to have a presence that was bigger than its founder.

"We knew that in order to make the most profound and lasting impact for cancer survivors, the cause and the organization had to have its own persona. That's exactly what Livestrong has become and Lance helped shape that effort.

"Lance doesn't want to be a distraction from the foundation's cause - serving cancer patients and survivors," he added.

"That's why he resigned from the foundation's board. In the spirit of that noble decision, the foundation has to make appropriate changes as well.

"At the moment, he feels it's better for the organization that he step away a bit," McKinnon said.

The charity’s website still says in the copyright notice at the bottom of the page that Livestrong is “a registered trademark of the Lance Armstrong Foundation,” and a press release issued yesterday acknowledges its creation “in 1997 by cancer survivor and philanthropist Lance Armstrong.”

The former mention of his having been a cyclist who won the Tour de France seven times is gone.
 

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

11 comments

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6654henry [56 posts] 3 years ago
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Bitched.

 20

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notfastenough [3709 posts] 3 years ago
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In the spirit of that noble decision, eh?! Aye, whatever...

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theincrediblebike [40 posts] 3 years ago
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Doesn't really matter what they call it. It will always be associated with LA. pity because their website offers some great advice and information and the foundation has raised millions and helped so many people. Pity it was built on such a falseness.

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new-to-cycling [47 posts] 3 years ago
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Have to agree with the incrediblebike people already think of it as the livestrong foundation not the LA foundation and have always associated it with Lance. I bet this charity starts to slowly dry up and die due to the lance scandal.

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notfastenough [3709 posts] 3 years ago
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That's true, and the worst of it is that had he come back from cancer to ride clean and just be a decent domestique with his old aggressive style, maybe won a few stages or one-day races, it would still have been one of the greatest cancer comebacks ever, and we'd have respected him for it.

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bigmel [116 posts] 3 years ago
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"he feels it's better for the organization that he step away a bit"

So everyone else at Livestrong was asking him to stay . . .

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djpalmer32 [82 posts] 3 years ago
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Live Strong - take EPO!!!!!!!  19

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Lara Dunn [50 posts] 3 years ago
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I'm with notfastenough, the foundation itself is an amazing and enduring achievment in its own right, he should just have flown the flag for cancer survivors everywhere by purely getting back in the game and riding well.

All said and done though, you can hate on the man all you like for the lying, cheating and damage to the sport, but at least he has left Livestrong as a legacy at all, whether it's now associated with him by name or not.

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andyp [1460 posts] 3 years ago
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'but at least he has left Livestrong as a legacy at all'

What does Livestrong actually do, can anyone tell me?

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monty dog [459 posts] 3 years ago
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I'd never heard of cancer before Livestrong - if it wasn't for those millions of dollars they'd spent promoting themselves, I'd be none the wiser!  3

If you want to give money to cancer charities, please do - but not to charities that exist ostensibly to promote themselves and their patron.

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Nick T [949 posts] 3 years ago
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Marie Curie, Cancer Research, Breakthrough, Pink Ribbon - these people deserve your donations. Livestrong is just a very well funded PR company. Even Movember, tongue in cheek as it is, does more to raise awareness.