After Lance Armstrong finally came clean to Oprah Winfrey about his years of doping during his cycling career, the Livestrong Foundation issued a statement saying it's “disappointed” by its founder, but still “grateful” for him.
After years of staunch denial, the once superstar cyclist admitted to Oprah during the first part of a two-part interview series, which aired Thursday night, to using banned substances and blood dope throughout his career. The defamed athlete opened up just hours after he was stripped of his bronze Olympic medal, three months after losing his seven Tour de France medals, a decision made in the wake of the release of a voluminous U.S. Anti-Doping Agency report, detailing the retired athlete’s years of using performance enhancing drugs.
Livestrong, the nonprofit Armstrong founded after winning his own battle with cancer to help other victims, cut ties with Armstrong as the doping scandal unfolded, but remained reservedly supportive on Thursday of the man who once served as chairman.
“We at the LIVESTRONG Foundation are disappointed by the news that Lance Armstrong misled people during and after his cycling career, including us," the charity said in a statement Thursday. “Even in the wake of our disappointment, we also express our gratitude to Lance as a survivor for the drive, devotion and spirit he brought to serving cancer patients and the entire cancer community. Lance is no longer on the Foundation’s board, but he is our founder and we will always be grateful to him for creating and helping to build a Foundation that has served millions struggling with cancer.”
While Armstrong has been more forthright than ever about his years of doping, the once beloved athlete hasn’t yet been able to explain why he’s been willing to come forward now.
"I don't know that I have a great answer," Armstrong said when asked during the interview about why he’s confessing now. "I will start my answer by saying that this is too late. It's too late for probably most people and that's my fault. I view this situation as one big lie -- that I repeated a lot of times."