Lance Armstrong Dropped By Nike Because Athletes Shouldn’t Get Caught Lying About Doping

Lance Armstrong, champion cyclist and the person we all have to blame for the rubber wristband-for-a-cause trend, apparently committed the cardinal sin of being a highly marketable sports figure who lied about taking performance-enhancing drugs.

The announcement from Nike came earlier today, a week after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said it had definitive proof that Armstrong had used banned substances while winning races around the world.

Armstrong also stepped down from his role as chairman of the LIVESTRONG foundation he formed in 1997 after being diagnosed with testicular cancer. The foundation’s signature rubber wristbands — colored yellow to match the jersey Armstrong wore many times as the winner of the Tour de France — became a sensation that spread to countless other charities and causes.

Nike says it will continue to support the LIVESTRONG charity, for which it has created licensed shoes and clothing.

While RadioShack, which had been using Armstrong in ads since 2009, has not officially kicked the cyclist to the curb, it did tell the Wall Street Journal that “RadioShack has no current obligations with Lance Armstrong,” meaning he likely won’t be getting a discount on any overpriced HDMI cables anytime soon.

We firmly believe that if Armstrong, who has denied any of the doping allegations but who recently decided to end his legal battle with the USADA, had gone on TV or in front of a Congressional panel and tearfully confessed to it, it would have been less of a blow to the guts of fans. Just look at the professional sports players (we won’t name names, but at least one is currently sitting on a bench in a baseball League Championship Series) who have been caught and fessed up, and who continue to be adored and accepted — and more importantly, who still have lucrative endorsement contracts.