Lance Armstrong has admitted to “difficult” times since the release of a report which accused the shamed cyclist of being at the heart of the most sophisticated doping programme ever seen in sport.
Making his first public remarks since the release of US Anti-Doping Agency's damning report, Armstrong did not refer directly to the scandal, saying: “It’s been a difficult couple of weeks for me and my family, my friends and this foundation.
“We will not be deterred. We will move forward.” The 41-year-old American made his comments to 1,500 guests at a gala fundraiser for cancer charity Livestrong, which he founded 15 years ago after fighting testicular cancer. But on Wednesday he stepped down as chairman of Livestrong in an effort to protect the foundation from the scandal swirling around him.
That was the same day that corporate sponsors, including sportswear giant Nike, dropped him in the uproar over the USADA report, which cites more than two dozen witnesses including some former teammates and accuses Armstrong of being at the heart of sport’s “most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme.” World cycling’s governing body the International Cycling Union (UCI) will respond to the report on Monday.