Hearne: Lance Armstrong Should Do the Right Thing for Livestrong, Sporting

At the very least, it won’t be easy…

It’s almost implausible, but somehow, someway, beleaguered cyclist Lance Armstrong needs to fall on his sword and divorce himself from the organization that bears his name, The Lance Armstrong Foundation.

The degree of difficulty: extreme. The importance doing so (and quickly): vital.

That’s the bad news in the wake of Armstrong’s decision to allow cycling’s governing body the USADA to strip him of his seven Tour de France titles, publicly branding him a cheater.

The good news is that the success of the Livestrong name and organization, coupled with the dropping of Lance Armstrong’s would enable the nonprofit, cancer support organization to move forward and in a handful of years Armstrong’s involvement might be all but forgotten.

That’s the way many mindsets work today.

Check out the Muscular Dystrophy Association Web site and try and find any evidence whatsoever of longtime pitch man Jerry Lewis. Lewis was ousted last year by the organization after hosting of its annual Labor Day Telethon for 45 years.

Armstrong’s foundation is only 15 years old and his last Tour de France win was five years ago in 2007.

Chances are most younger people today know Armstrong more for his years of battling doping charges than for his long-tainted tour victories. Victories that will be increasingly forgotten in the days ahead given that he’s all but certain to have those wins vacated.

When Armstrong showed up here at Livestrong Sporting Park a couple years ago for the stadium naming announcement it was clear he was a fallen man. He arrived late and steered clear of most of the media.

Maybe I’m reaching a little, but there appeared little joy in that moment for Armstrong. He looked like a guy who’d been busted bad, over and again and was hanging on for dear life to what little was left of a tarnished reputation.

“Depending on your point of view, it is either a shameless admission of guilt or a dignified withdrawal from a process designed with the sole purpose of discrediting him,” The Telegraph‘s Jonathan Liew writes. “Armstrong continues to deny doping, but if the statement he issued on Friday proved one thing, it is that he has finally resigned himself to wearing the sackcloth of the drug cheat.”

How can Armstrong show his face at future fundraisers, promotional outings and the like from this point on and put the best interests of his cancer foundation at the forefront?

The simple answer is he can’t.

The new owners of the Kansas City Wizards – now Sporting Kansas City – made a calculated gamble in anointing Armstrong’s organization with the stadium naming rights.

And there’s no doubt that they meant well, that their intentions were pure.

That said it was a badly blown call and one wiser heads should have known better than to make.

However that was then.

Sporting’s ownership is known to be more than a little headstrong at times, and they raced into the media spotlight in recent days and said they’ll continue the partnership with Livestrong despite the controversy surrounding Armstrong and the charges levied by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

At this stage, maybe that’s the wisest course to take where the six year naming rights deal is concerned.

But only if Armstrong steps down and the organization changes its name.

Why not?

Livestrong is the word or catch phrase, if you will, people associate with the organization and its mission. Armstrong’s name is tainted.

“The naming rights partnership between our stadium and Livestrong provides an opportunity to spread health and wellness messages that emphasizes the spirit of cancer survivorship,” Sporting main man Robb Heineman said last Friday. “Focus is the fight against cancer and the support of 28 million people around the world affected by this disease, and we believe strongly in this mission.”

Notice the emphasis on Livestrong not Armstrong.

For the good of his charity and it’s mission, Armstrong needs to do the right thing and step aside and the organization needs to do the obvious thing and change it’s name from Livestrong.

Immediately.

 

 

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43 Responses to Hearne: Lance Armstrong Should Do the Right Thing for Livestrong, Sporting

  1. smartman says:

    Lance has an estimated net worth of $125/MM. Since last Friday daily average donations at Livestrong are up 30%. At this point in his life I just don’t think he gives a fuck anymore. He’s got bigger fish to fry than the Schleck brothers.

    Using the investigative standards applied to this case I think we can conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that Hillary killed Vince Foster and LBJ had JFK whacked. Given the incalculable odds of him, or anyone, winning 7 Tours de France I absolutely think he doped. But I haven’t seen enough evidence to say that I know or believe he did in much the same way I can say that we NEVER put a man on the moon. Show me a failed test, a needle, some piss, SOMETHING? Hell, retest the old blood samples using today’s improved testing technology. The big allegation is that he doped by transfusing his own blood, which testing at the time could not detect. Let the past blood meet the present tests bitches or just STFU!

    Torquemada thinks he’s getting a raw deal. I’d love nothing more than to tear down the high and mighty Lance Armstrong. But without credible evidence I can’t. Even if he did dope, the guy has been an incredible inspiration to cancer patients the world over. Anyone who has suffered, or had a loved one deal with cancer knows that mental attitude is as important as any pill or treatment. When diagnosed, Lance was given a single digit chance of survival. Armed with attitude, knowledge, and a treatment program he did the unbelievable, and then some. No doubt he has been an inspiration to many and that inspiration has probably contributed to successful outcomes that saved many, many lives. Doping aside, his work with Livestrong is doing the Lord’s work, every day, making a difference in the lives of many. That, CAN’T be taken away.

  2. tiad says:

    Here it is, Jr.:

    http://mda.org/search/content/jerry%20lewis

    HC: Already saw that wild man. They didn’t completely eradicate Lewis from the site but the point is they blew him out and you have to search to find any reference to him.

  3. the dude says:

    Lemme get this straight, the guy passes hundreds of blood tests with nary a positive over a span of many years and has spent probably millions of dollars defending his name and honor over the years. If this isn’t the classic definition of a witch hunt I don’t know what is.

    He knew he had slim to no chance to beat this rap because the only way the USADA deals in through binding arbitration. If this were to go to a jury trial like it did with the French investigation and would have if the Feds had pressed charges he could have beat this too. He knew he was fighting a stacked deck and said enough is enough. I would be a little worn down too after defending myself after all those years from vindictive people with obvious axes to grind.

    Did he dope? Probably, but so was everyone else, literally . If they strip his TDF victories then nobody should win because all the runner ups have been convicted of doping in the past too. Literally everyone was doing it, so what do you do at that point?

    Where does the witch hunt end? All victories vacated in all events for the last 30 years?

    HC: I heard a friend of Armstrong’s being interview on CNN yesterday who addressed your point. That many the other potential Tour de France winners were busted for doping as well. But no ALL.

    And however many wrongs don’t make a right.

    What this gentleman said was that Armstrong and other leading bikers had difficult decisions to make where doping was concerned; do it and swing for the stars or don’t do it and settle for irrelevance.

    Does it matter that they all cheated? Probably not to everyone but that’s not the kind of name that needs to be attached to as high-minded an organization as Livestrong.

  4. Jim says:

    It’s cycling. So much of a niche sport that is actually BEHIND soccer. (that’s a joke, people). The percentage of people that give a damn whether LA did or didn’t cheat during his cycling career is so small that it’s meaningless. Livestrong is a battle cry and a mission. It has so far transcended Armstrong himself, that his involvement is basically honorary. People don’t wear the bracelets to support LA. They support the “cause”. Whether he stays involved or bows out is irrelevant.

  5. paulwilsonkc says:

    I have NO interest in the sport. Its like I said, this will stop me from EVER watching it for the FIRST time!

    I agree with Dude. What a scam this “federal department” is. Why is our government chasing doping issues? Did he do it? Yeah, likely. Are there ways to pass the tests, clearly, as any people I know who know the sport say “everyone does it” from high end transfusions to you name it. Does that make it right? No. Did they prove he did it? Not even close.

    But what Livestrong has done should superceed that. Its been an outstanding organization thats raised untold millions in research dollars for cancer.

    I think the whole thing is a scam, the doping, wanting to win so bad you’d to anything to your body, the Anti Doping Association… who is most dirty? Hard to tell.

    Bottom line, he passed all the tests, but as Craig can tell you, when the Feds draw a bead on you…. youre going to lose.

    • the dude says:

      It is not a Federal Agency Wilson, it is a NFP, stand-alone organization. Their findings were based purely on testimony from former teammates and associates, not on ANY tests.

      • paulwilsonkc says:

        I thought it was the USADA, but youre correct, they aren’t a fed dept either. I stand corrected. God that hurts…

  6. Lance the Intern says:

    One of the owners of Sporting KC has a spouse with cancer. I suspect this may have been a factor in their choice of Livestrong as a partner.

    Nike isn’t backing away from their partnership with Livestrong or Lance Armstrong – neither is American Century. I see no reason for OnGoal to step away.

    HC: My point is that Armstrong needs to step away and the organization he founded to become Livestrong, not Armstrong.

    • the dude says:

      Good, like Wilson said this should transcend Armstrong the man and his foibles.

      HC: which will be nearly impossible to do if they continue to call themselves the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

    • Lance the Intern says:

      While Lance Armstrong still sits on the Board of Directors, he is not a member of the leadership team of Livestrong.

      • Lance the Intern says:

        The “Lance Armstrong Foundation” changed it’s name to Livestrong in 2009.

        HC: But it still comes up majorly as the Lance Armstrong Foundation when you Google it and has Armstrong all over it, including the home page including the following headline:

        “Statements by Lance Armstrong Foundation Vice Chairman Jeffery C. Garvey and Leaders in the Cancer Community.”

  7. harley says:

    ANOTHER STUPID/IDIOTIC/INANE COMMENT FROM A GUY WHO’S ABOUT
    AS SELFISH AN INDIVIDUAL AS THERE IS!
    Why is it that people like hernia…born with silver spoons in their mouth…who don’t
    have to work…who have no sense of what it’s like in the real world…how does
    that qualify you to comment on this issue.
    You’re a loser. They tagged armstrong for years trying to bring him down with some
    phony organization because he wasn’t french and he shut the organization off.
    How far do you have to go and fight these phonies trying to protect your name.
    Personally…i could giv e a fuck what the guy did riding his bike. I really never thought
    much of the tour d france. I used to ride but got bored with the whole idea of
    riding a bike.
    But for “saints” like hernia …who have never struggled in life…never worried about
    anything…having been given ev erything to them……this guy finally has to move
    on and realize that the powers that be will never let up until he succumbs to them.
    How much money will it take to fight the liars. How much time and energy
    will it take away from his helping cancer victims and raising millions to fight
    the liars. Their goal is simple….strip armstrong of his titles.
    And a guy like hernia comes on and takes the guy on. Hernia…do you know the
    facts? Do you know anythning about this story.
    Guys like hernia with silver spoons and an easy life…never having to str4uggle
    for anythhing…or being committed to anything but his personal little world.
    No hernia…you shouldn’t comment on this. You’re not qualified.
    I met lance in austin during the start of his charity ride. I again met him in
    kc when he canme for the american century campaign.
    WTF do you want hernia. The guy fights and beats cancer. He raises the awareness
    of cancer in the entire world…raises millions….and unlike the koman incidient…
    this had nothing to do with politics. How much should armstrong fight.
    He didn’t give up. He just decided it was best to use his energy and resources to
    do something positive and forward thinking…
    And what does hernia say….he should give up his fight. I say hell no hernia.
    So hernia…here’s the question I ask you to answer in all your wise wealthy
    knowledge…
    WHEN LANCE ARMSTRONG GETS TO HEAVEN…AND GOD MAKES THAT
    FINAL DECISION….WHAT WILL BE MORE IMPORTANT….
    THAT LANCE ARMSTRONG WON SOME TROPHIES FOR RIDING OR BIKE
    OR THAT HE SAVED THOUSANDS OF LIVES WHILE ON EARTH.

    • mike says:

      Surprisingly, I actually agree with most of what you said about Lance. If a European had won all those Tours, this witchhunt would not have happened.

      I don’t agree with your hating on Hearne like that. He may have been born with a gold spoon in his mouth for all I care. That doesn’t hurt anybody else. He has never rubbed our noses in his wealth. He has never bragged about never working for anyone in his life. He has never made fun of others for living in a home less expensive than his. He has never called anybody on here a wage slave loser.

      I often disagree with him myself. Probably more than I agree with him, actually. That does not mean I dislike him or think he is a bad guy. He is entitled to his opinion and I’m entitled to mine. By the way, he has always let me voice my opinion on here when I have disagreed with him when he could have deleted my comments. I know he can defend himself, but come on! What has he ever done to you?

      HC: Thanks. Mike. But as you undoubtedly know, you can’t believe everything you read in the comments section…even from Harley. Let’s see, I’ve been living in a $200,000 house in Prairie Village and driving a $20,000 Fiat. Guess you could call that a “gold spoon” lifestyle.

    • Markus Aurelius says:

      +1 – this may be the most uneducated knee-jerk post by Hearne since the drunk white kid got killed by the black kid in Westport.

      Perhaps we should call for Hearne to separate himself from KCC for the good of the website. Ha!

  8. harley says:

    also..pretty shallow that you put a pic of lance on here with him looking
    sad.
    Having met him I can tell you there’s no more positive thinking man on this
    earth. Despite cancer he won 7 titles…but that’s all irrelevant now.
    Take down the nasty photo…put one of him working with the kids
    at the cancer centers..or put one on of him with the people at his
    foundation. ..or maybe one of him helping the thousands of cancer survivors
    who he gave hope to.
    You’re a cheap shot artist…Nothing less!
    As Jimmy V said…’NEVER NEVER GIVE UP!”

    • Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

      Quite possibly the largest pile of bullsh*t Hearne has ever written.

    • smartman says:

      How much did Lance tip you for handing him a towel in the bathroom?

      • paulwilsonkc says:

        Smartman…. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

        I was praying about this last night. I MET G-D at an event! He’s the most positive saviour the world has ever had. He helps people all over the world. G-D thinks Lance got bent over. He said Hearne should take down that picture or Lance looking so sad and put up the one of Harley handing him a towel in the bathroom.

  9. smartman says:

    Lance has an estimated net worth of $125/MM. Since last Friday daily average donations at Livestrong are up 30%. At this point in his life I just don’t think he gives a fuck anymore. He’s got bigger fish to fry than the Schleck brothers.

    Using the investigative standards applied to this case I think we can conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that Hillary killed Vince Foster and LBJ had JFK whacked. Given the incalculable odds of him, or anyone, winning 7 Tours de France I absolutely think he doped. But I haven’t seen enough evidence to say that I know or believe he did in much the same way I can say that we NEVER put a man on the moon. Show me a failed test, a needle, some piss, SOMETHING? Hell, retest the old blood samples using today’s improved testing technology. The big allegation is that he doped by transfusing his own blood, which testing at the time could not detect. Let the past blood meet the present tests bitches or just STFU!

    Torquemada thinks he’s getting a raw deal. I’d love nothing more than to tear down the high and mighty Lance Armstrong. But without credible evidence I can’t. Even if he did dope, the guy has been an incredible inspiration to cancer patients the world over. Anyone who has suffered, or had a loved one deal with cancer knows that mental attitude is as important as any pill or treatment. When diagnosed, Lance was given a single digit chance of survival. Armed with attitude, knowledge, and a treatment program he did the unbelievable, and then some. No doubt he has been an inspiration to many and that inspiration has probably contributed to successful outcomes that saved many, many lives. Doping aside, his work with Livestrong is doing the Lord’s work, every day, making a difference in the lives of many. That, CAN’T be taken away.

    • Mark X says:

      +1

      Well stated.

    • mike says:

      I agree. They should have had a least had a failed drug test before even starting this witchhunt. Even if he did dope, who would you give those titles to? Are they going to do a full scale investigation of all those who placed right below him and make them prove their innocence? If not, none of them deserve to be rewarded the wins either by the standard set by the investigators. They will probably reward them to whoever had the next highest finish that was not an American and not even investigate the Europeans would be my guess.

      • the dude says:

        Pretty much all of the runners up during those years were busted for doping too, can’t give it to them.

  10. Kerouac says:

    I miss Jerry Lewis on the MDA telethons; I don’t miss Armstrong (well maybe Louie, but not Lance)…

  11. chuck says:

    The Europeans hate this guy, just like they hate Americans for the most part.

    The sport’s relevance, as related to it’s popularity, such as it is, owes the lion’s share of that relevance, to Lance Armstrong and the incessant efforts to topple the best cheater/bike rider in the world.

    His ability to pass every one of the thousands of tests they gave him in their futile efforts to embarrass him (Lance) and his country, should be a separate event that needs a sponsor of it’s own. Bill Belicheck could give Lance some tips.

    Any momentum this sport has at present, is thanks to Lance pissing down his leg and handing the anti-doping official a bottle of Mountain Dew.

    The ends justified the means when the bike left the barn.

  12. Rick Nichols says:

    Long live Lance!
    Live strong and dance at Death’s door,
    Having beaten cancer’s odds only to be beaten down by cycling’s gods.
    Livestrong Sporting Park?
    Or simply Sporting Park?
    And if it’s to be the latter, will the letters come down when it’s dark so one will see?
    Or how about Headstrong Park?
    Describes the key “players” to at least some degree.
    So who is right and who is wrong?
    And who is truly fit to sing the Sporting song?
    The Cauldron demands a decision, so whatever you do, don’t take long!

  13. Super Dave says:

    To me if you’re innocent you never walk away from trying to prove you’re innocent. Go through the dog and pony show if it is such and least get it all out into the open where us the common people can see what the so call proof was and decide for ourselves what the truth is. I mean what did he have to lose?

    I lost major respect for Lance Armstrong and I say this because to me he isn’t the fighter he led us to believe he was.

    • the dude says:

      He is up against a stacked binding arbitration panel, if this were a real jury trial he would beat it down like a red-headed stepchild.

  14. mark smith says:

    Armstrong should show some BALL and fight this thing …………….

    I’ll be here all week, tip your waitress.

  15. Jess says:

    Livestrong is about surviving and battling cancer. Who cares about some dude on a bicycle.

    HC: You realize I hope that we’re talking about the chairman and founder of the organization. Which could drag the organization down and result in them having a harder time raising money to do the good work to which you refer.

    Which, um, was the point of this story.

    • SP says:

      +1
      Just found out I have cancer. I’m glad there are organizations like LIVESTRONG. Don’t care what Armstrong did in the past. Only care what LIVESTRONG WILL do for people/families.

  16. bubba says:

    The Livestrong charity or foundation (whatever) gets very high marks for their use of funds. In other words they put a lot money toward their work and little to advertise and administrate.

    On the other hand, the European that is going to pickup a few of these Tour titles is neck deep in keeping this thing against Lance going. He is in hot water over his misuse of money donated for him legally go after Lance.

    For Lance to have won as many races as he did after beating all of the cancers makes him a freak of nature. Did he dope? Maybe, but if listen to the guys in charge of this, they basically say they don’t know what or how he did what he did it, but they know he did something wrong. You can’t prove a negative. No matter what, Lance can’t prove he didn’t do something. If I was Lance, I would do exactly what he did. He shrugged his shoulders after MANY years of this and said, so what? People had made it their lives to go after him. If he didn’t want to continually go through this anymore, that was his only choice. Walk away.

    My question is this, did he do something wrong beating cancer the way he did? If not, why would he need to separate his name from his foundation that helps cancer victims?

    My sources for this information is NPR and the WSJ. Too tired to find the links and cite them.

  17. Hurricane Jack says:

    Once Sheryl Crow announced she had called off the Engagement with Lance, lots of us knew there was something rotten in Denmark there….. she’a hot little number and she also has strong old time ethics and views.
    Bottom line, the Soccer Stadium, over the next year, should change its name to the Sporting Stadium. Settle the naming rights Contract at a fair price and pay Livestrong. Livestrong can continue it’s own foundation thing with Lance being a advisory Director. Win/win for all…

    • harley says:

      lance didn’t want anymore children….crow did…very simple…
      crow ended up adopting a child.

      HC: Nice to have such an esteemed Hollywood relationship authority on board.

      • harley says:

        hernia…you didn’t bring it up. You’re the supposed one time
        gossip columnist. Usually i depend on glaze for tinsel town
        information….i just figured the original comment needed
        some further information.
        If my fans want more info on the rich and famous they
        can conytact me at law4life1000@yahoo.com.

        HC: The point being that – inbetween the lines – there’s usually far more to the story than the gossip headlines, wild man. That you “reported” here as fact. Ever hear that line, don’t believe everything you read?

        • the dude says:

          Ha!
          Can I get legitimate law info at that email address also?
          Will Stan Greenberg charge reasonable imaginary rates?

  18. balbonis moleskine says:

    I just laugh because middle age white guys idolize this guy.

    He is like their Steve McQueen (minus the Tijuana coffee enemas).

    He’s a cheater is a minor sport filled with cheaters. The Tour de France is fun to watch because you get to see all the country parts of France that you miss when you take the TSG to Paris.

    • harley says:

      wrong balboni…if you were to go to austin where he holds his annual
      ride you’d realize this goes far beyond middle age guys. In fact his
      biggest followers are not middle age guys…theyre the hundreds of thousands
      cyclists…the tens of thousands of kids that are fighting cancer…
      go into the cancer wards at cedar sinai…mayo….md anderson and see
      the kids wearing livestrong bands…..the nurses…dr’s….volunteers…
      you’re mistaken and the attempt at humor is pretty shallow.
      the guy and his work go far beyond anything a private citizen has done
      in the country in a long long time…single handedly bringing the
      cancer fight to the foreground in the nation…..
      tell me balboni…what have you done to change the world??????????????????/