Nike continues to back Lance Armstrong

Nike is standing by Lance Armstrong despite US anti-doping authorities describing the cyclist as a "serial cheat" who ran "the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen".

Lance Armstrong: in Nike's 'driven' campaign
Lance Armstrong: in Nike's 'driven' campaign

The seven times Tour de France winner was yesterday charged by the United States Anti-Doping Authority (USADA) with six offences, including taking banned substances and administering drugs to team mates.

Eleven US Postal Service cycling team mates have said that they have seen Armstrong take performance-enhancing drugs.

Nike's statement is identical to the one it issued in August, when Armstrong announced that he would no longer fight the authority's doping charges.

The sportswear brand reiterated that although it was "saddened that Lance Armstrong may no longer be able to participate in certain competitions", it would continue to "support Lance and the Lance Armstrong Foundation".

Armstrong’s other sponsors include sunglasses brands Oakley and brewer AB InBev, both of whom said in August that they were continuing to support him.

Marketing was unable to get hold of either of the brands at the time of writing.

Nike's full statement reads: "We are saddened that Lance Armstrong may no longer be able to participate in certain competitions and [that] his titles appear to be impacted. Lance has stated his innocence and has been unwavering on this position. Nike plans to continue to support Lance and the Lance Armstrong Foundation, a foundation that Lance created to serve cancer survivors."

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