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Nike stands by Armstrong in wake of doping evidence

ESPN staff
October 11, 2012 « Heysel behind Del Piero's Liverpool snub | Chartbeat test »

Lance Armstrong's reputation may be in tatters, but Nike has vowed to stand by the former Tour de France winner.

In spite of the United States Anti-Doping Agency's (USADA) damning evidence that Armstrong's successes were fuelled by systematic doping, the sportswear brand has reiterated its commitment to the American and his charity foundation.

The cycling world was left reeling on Wednesday when the USADA published 1,000 pages of evidence detailing its decision to ban Armstrong from the sport and strip him of his seven Tour titles.

The sworn testimonies of 26 individuals, including 11 former team-mates of Armstrong, as well as financial statements and emails, accused Armstrong of spearheading a "massive and pervasive" doping programme at US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team between 1998 and 2004.

In the wake of the latest revelations, Nike re-released the same statement it issued in August after Armstrong gave up his fight against what he described as a "witch hunt" by USADA chief executive Travis Tygart.

"We are saddened that Lance Armstrong may no longer be able to participate in certain competitions and his titles appear to be impacted," the statement said.

"Lance has stated his innocence and has been unwavering on this position. Nike plans to continue to support Lance and the Lance Armstrong Foundation, a foundation that Lance created to serve cancer survivors."

Nike also stood by Tiger Woods in December 2009 after the golfer admitted that he had been unfaithful to his wife.

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