Nike Ditches Lance Armstrong

Nike cuts Lance Armstrong, Anheuser-Busch does too. The seven-time Tour de France winner and the chairman of Livestrong foundation used illegal substances for enhancing performance in sports misleading Nike for more than a decade.

Photo: Lance Armstrong, from Bloomberg

A U.S. Anti-Doping Agency reported last week that Armstrong’s career was “fueled from start to finish by doping.” According to the summary of the case, the 41-year-old retired cyclist used performance-enhancers and required teammates to use them or face dismissal from his squad.

“Due to the seemingly insurmountable evidence that Lance Armstrong participated in doping and misled Nike for more than a decade, it is with great sadness that we have terminated our contract with him. Nike does not condone the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs in any manner. Nike plans to continue support of the Livestrong initiatives created to unite, inspire and empower people affected by cancer,” said Nike in a statement.

Anheuser-Busch also said that it won’t renew its contract with Armstrong to promote Michelob Ultra beer when the current deal expires at the end of 2012, says Bloomberg.

«We have decided not to renew our relationship with Lance Armstrong when our current contract expires at the end of 2012,» said Paul Chibe, VP U.S. Marketing, Anheuser-Busch. «We will continue to support the Livestrong Foundation and its cycling and running events.»

This dismissal is not a typical for Nike which stood by golf superstar Tiger Woods when news of his extramarital affairs became public in 2009, and didn’t ditch Kobe Bryant when the NBA superstar was charged with sexual assault in 2003.

Armstrong participated in many Nike campaigns including this year’s #makeitcount campaign.