Sponsors cut ties with disgraced Armstrong

AB Inbev and other key sponsors have followed Nike in dropping their sponsorship deals with Lance Armstrong just days after many declared continued support for the disgraced cyclist.

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The brewer’s US marketing chief Paul Chibe, says in a statement: “We have decided not to renew our relationship with Lance Armstrong when our current contract expires at the end of 2012.” It went on to express “continued support” for Armstrong’s “Livestrong” cancer charity.

The company had backed the cyclist just a week ago despite the US doping authority USADA slamming him as “serial cheat” at the centre of the “the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme the sport has ever seen.”

Armstrong had fronted marketing activity for its Michelob Ultra brand.

Meanwhile, bike maker Trek, which made the bikes Armstrong rode in his seven Tour de France victories, has also cut ties. “Trek is disappointed by the findings and conclusions in the USADA report regarding Lance Armstrong. Given the determinations of the report, Trek today is terminating our longterm relationship with Lance Armstrong,” it says in statement, adding it will also “continue to support the Livestrong Foundation”.

US retailer RadioShack has also distanced itself from Armstrong. The firm told the Financial Times it “had no current obligations” with the cyclist.

Nike was the first to back peddle on its support for Armstrong. The sportswear giant cited “insurmountable evidence” Armstrong participated in doping claiming he has misled it “for more than a decade”.

Sunglasses brand Oakley is edging its bets. It said in a statement it is reviewing the report from the USADA and its sponsorship of the athlete.

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