Lance Armstrong’s foundation exit: Does it help?

The beleaguered cyclist announced Wednesday morning that he would step down as chairman of Livestrong, just as Nike dropped him as a spokesman. Can the foundation carry on?

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A little less than two months after he was banned from cycling and a week removed from a massive United States Anti-Doping Agency report with testimony from his teammates accusing him of rampant cheating, Lance Armstrong announced Wednesday he would step down as the chairman of Livestrong, his foundation.

“To spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career, I will conclude my chairmanship,” he offered in a statement.

The news comes in tandem with Nike’s decision to drop Armstrong as a spokesman, though Armstrong’s statement includes no mention of sponsorship deals, nor any defense of his career as a cyclist.

Norman Birnbach of Birnbach Communications says Armstrong’s resignation was inevitable. What isn’t clear, Birnbach and other crisis communications and PR experts say, is how Livestrong will proceed from here.

Evaluating the statement

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