AUSTIN, Texas — Lance Armstrong has resigned from the board of directors of his own cancer foundation as he tries to protect it from the negative fallout resulting from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's decision to strip him of all seven of his Tour de France championships.
Armstrong officially stepped down Nov. 4, but news of his decision wasn't announced until Monday. In October, he took the extraordinary step to quit as chairman of Livestrong's board of directors, one week after USADA released a comprehensive, 1,000-page report detailing how Armstrong and his teammates used performance enhancers to dominate cycling during his record-breaking reign through France.
Armstrong resigned to protect Livestrong from “any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding his cycling career,” said Jeff Garvey, a longtime friend of Armstrong's who replaced the former cyclist as Livestrong's chairman.
“We're counting on (Armstrong) to stay actively involved in the fight against cancer,” Livestrong spokeswoman Katherine McLane said Monday.
Livestrong's next significant event is scheduled for February in Chicago. That's when the foundation will host its annual Livestrong Congress for cancer advocates, experts and survivors.
Meanwhile, most of the Tour memorabilia has been removed from the walls of the Livestrong headquarters in East Austin.
It's unclear what Armstrong's involvement will be with the foundation that he started in 1997 when he was still weeks removed from treatment of advanced testicular cancer.
Besides being the face of the foundation, Armstrong has been its biggest advocate and donor, giving $7 million.
Since news broke Aug. 23 that USADA was stripping Armstrong of his titles, Livestrong has received $3.8 million in donations from nearly 32,000 people, according to figures provided by the foundation.
The money, which does not include the $2.5 million generated by the Livestrong Gala in October, is up three percent from the same time period in 2011. The number of people donating is up 7.3 percent.
Garvey, a retired venture capitalist, credited Armstrong on Monday for changing the way the world views people affected by cancer.
Armstrong's spot on the 15-person board likely will be filled in the coming weeks.
“Because of Lance, there is today more focus on the individuals whom this disease strikes, and on healing the person, not just killing the disease,” Garvin said in a statement.
Armstrong took over as full-time chairman when he retired from cycling the first time in 2005. As chairman, he represented the foundation at events around the world and also was in daily contact with foundation chief executive Doug Ulman.
Armstrong returned to Austin late last week after spending nearly two weeks at his home in Hawaii.
He did not return a message Monday from the American-Statesman.
However, Armstrong has been active on his Twitter account.
On Saturday, he tweeted a photo to his 3.8 million followers showing him “layin' around.” The photo was of Armstrong reclining at a room in his Austin home, with his seven framed Tour jerseys adorning the walls.