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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014

Other Sport

Lend Lance your ears
AFP
Austin, October 18, 2012
First Published: 23:31 IST(18/10/2012)
Last Updated: 01:25 IST(19/10/2012)

Disgraced cycling icon Lance Armstrong, unable to lead his cancer-fighting foundation's efforts or compete in world-class sports, could provide the first glimpse of his future on Friday.

Armstrong will speak to supporters of his Livestrong anti-cancer charity at a 15th anniversary fundraiser in Austin, Texas, in his first public comments since his dramatic downfall in an epic doping scandal.

Last week, the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) revealed 1,000 pages of evidence supporting why it gave him a life ban and stripped him of seven Tour de France victories.

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Engulfed by scandal and not wanting to taint the charity he worked so hard to set up and promote after winning his famous battle with testicular cancer, Armstrong stepped down on Wednesday as Livestrong's chairman.

His speech on Friday will be witnessed by a nominally friendly crowd of Livestrong backers, with organizers releasing a video recording afterwards on YouTube, so there will be no tough questions about his fall from grace.

Tough task
Armstrong faces a speech before those who were his most inspired supporters, a group that might now be among those who feel the most betrayed to discover his spectacular feats were accomplished by doping.

Sponsors have said even as they distance themselves from Armstrong that they will continue to support Livestrong.

Armstrong quit as Livestrong’s chairman so it might not become hit by the scandal and that seems to have worked out well for the charity.

“It has been a great privilege to help grow it from a dream into an organisation that today has served 2.5 million people and helped spur a cultural shift in how the world views cancer survivors," Armstrong said.

More than 80 million of Livest-rong’s wristbands have been sold and its future does not appear nearly as uncertain as that of Armstrong.


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