Livestrong Foundation Releases Statement on Armstrong Interview; 'We Are Disappointed'
Following the broadcast of Part One of a "no-holds-barred" interview between OWN's Oprah Winfrey and Olympic cyclist Lance Armstrong, in which he confesses to using performance enhancing drugs during his career, the Livestrong Foundation has issued a statement on their official web site:
"We at the Livestrong Foundation are disappointed by the news that Lance Armstrong misled people during and after his cycling career, including us. Earlier this week, Lance apologized to our staff and we accepted his apology in order to move on and chart a strong, independent course. We look forward to devoting our full energy to our mission of helping people not only fight and survive cancer, but also thrive in life after cancer."
On last night's interview, Armstrong admitted that he used banned substances, including performance-enhancing substances like testosterone and blood-doping. He blamed part of his behavior on the entire cycling culture and revealed that at the time of his drug use, he didn't feel that he was doing anything wrong.
Armstrong was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1996 which led him to launch Livestrong in 1997 to support other people suffering with the disease. In October, shortly after his seven Tour de France titles were taken away from him, the athlete announced that he would step down as chairman.
Despite last night's confession, the foundation still thanked him for what he has accomplished for the cancer community. "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."
The statement concludes: "The LIVESTRONG Foundation is one of the most highly-rated and effective cancer organizations in the United States. Our success has never been based on one person - it's based on the patients and survivors we serve every day, who approach a cancer diagnosis with hope, courage and perseverance. We listened to their needs and took action to create free cancer support services that offer access to clinical trials, fertility preservation, insurance coverage and even transportation to treatment. People living with and through cancer are the inspiration behind our work. They have been, are and always will be our focus."
Part 2 of Armstrong's interview with Oprah Winfrey airs Friday at 9/8c on OWN.