Armstrong says last few weeks ‘difficult’

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The silent auction included two Trek bicycles valued up to $12,000 — Trek was one of the companies that dropped Armstrong as a sponsor on Wednesday — and seven autographed yellow jerseys Armstrong wore on the podium during his Tour de France victories.

Gerry Goldstein, a criminal defense attorney and friend of Armstrong for several years, criticized USADA’s investigation and sanctions of Armstrong.

Drug testers never caught Armstrong when he was competing, Goldstein said.

“I’m a big fan of what he has done. Overcoming cancer and doing what he did, who gives a (expletive) about anything else? That’s so much more important as a role model and a human being,” Goldstein said. “Quit whining about it.”

Kansas City Royals pitcher Jeremy Guthrie, who donated a pair of cleats to the silent auction, said he wants to continue supporting Livestrong.

“Obviously, some things have a left a little scar, but people think it’s still important to come out and support Livestrong,” Guthrie said.

The charity has worked hard to separate its mission of fighting cancer from Armstrong’s troubles, said Doug Ulman, Livestrong president and chief executive.

Although Armstrong lost many of his personal sponsorship contracts, Nike, Anheuser-Busch and others who said they were terminating their contracts or would not renew them because of the doping evidence, said they would keep supporting Livestrong.

“We’re proud of our history and we’re excited to celebrate. We’ve heard from so many grass-roots supporters, program partners, corporate partners and a lot of them are doubling down, saying they are going to come back even stronger in 2013,” Ulman said.

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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