Ulman hails Armstrong's charity work

Salisbury Journal: The Lance Armstrong Foundation celebrates its 15th anniversary later this month The Lance Armstrong Foundation celebrates its 15th anniversary later this month

Lance Armstrong's legacy as a cancer fighter remains "second to none" despite a damning report which labelled him as a serial drugs cheat.

Armstrong was said to have orchestrated "the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen" in the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) report which provided the written reasons behind their decision to strip him of his seven Tour de France titles and to ban him from the sport for life.

But Doug Ulman, the Lance Armstrong Foundation's president and chief executive, said in a statement: "Lance Armstrong's legacy as a cancer fighter is literally second to none. Because of his leadership and vision, the Lance Armstrong Foundation has served more than 2.5 million people affected by cancer over the last 15 years."

The 41-year-old from Texas won his seven titles having overcome testicular cancer and set up the Lance Armstrong Foundation cancer charity, which celebrates its 15th anniversary later this month.

Ulman added: "Our long-standing concerns about the impartiality and fairness of USADA's proceedings are compounded today. As a federal judge pointed out, USADA appears motivated more by publicity rather than fulfilling its mission.

"His courage in speaking out about his own diagnosis sparked a cultural shift in this country in how we think about cancer survivors. His leadership helped produce a three billion-dollar investment in cancer research and prevention in Texas in 2007, with the passage of Proposition 15.

"Lance devoted six years to serving this nation on the President's Cancer Panel. His dedication to advancing the fight against cancer in the United States and throughout the world is unparalleled. We are deeply grateful for his leadership and incredibly proud of his achievements, both on and off the bike."

The president of the World Anti-Doping Agency, John Fahey, welcomed USADA's report and said in a statement: "The process followed by USADA has at all times been appropriate and careful, and in compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code. The UCI now has 21 days to determine whether it wishes to appeal the case. Thereafter, WADA has a further 21 days to determine whether we will exercise our independent right of appeal."

Levi Leipheimer, one of 11 former US Postal team-mates of Armstrong whose testimonies provided the basis for the USADA report, was suspended for six months for his role in the doping programme and has now also been placed on non-active status by his current team Omega Pharma - Quick-Step.

Armstrong's reputation has been damaged beyond repair following USADA's publication of the reasons behind their sanctions against him. The Texan decided earlier this year not to contest the USADA charges, but has always denied any involvement with doping and his lawyer Sean E Breen denounced the action as "a patently unfair, rigged process".

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