With the legal fight over doping allegations against cyclist Lance Armstrong set to begin, USA Today examines the controversy’s impact on the cancer survivor’s charity.
Doug Ulman, CEO of the Livestrong Foundation, said the organization is “as strong as ever” despite the controversy dogging its founder, a seven-time Tour de France champion accused of cheating by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. Lawyers for Mr. Armstrong will open their legal effort to quash the charges in federal court in Austin, Tex., on Friday.
Charity experts say that to survive, Livestrong must draw a clear line between its mission and its founder. The controversy has lowered public opinion of Mr. Armstrong and threatened a lucrative contract with a world triathlon body that was set to contribute $1-million a year to the organization.
By other indicators, Livestrong appears to be weathering the storm. In the first six months of the year it was contacted by 8,000 cancer survivors, more than in any similar period of any year, and the number of donations and average cash amount have gone up from two years ago.