Disgraced cyclist and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong doesn’t expect to ever return to Livestrong and said starting his own foundation again is “probably the most likely scenario.”
Armstrong talked to the Des Moines Register in a story published one week after an Esquire story quoted Livestrong’s president saying Armstrong would be welcomed if he wanted to return (Livestrong’s chairman later said in a statement having Armstrong rejoin the organization in any capacity was not on the table).
“To see the follow-up statement from the chairman, Jeff Garvey, that was more in line with where I think [Livestrong] are,” Armstrong told the Des Moines Register. “Again, that’s beyond my control. I can’t force that issue, but what I can do is stay committed to the fight, stay committed to the cause, and if I’m not welcome there, then I will either a) start my own foundation, again, which is probably the most likely scenario, or just be willing and able to help wherever I’m at. I think it’s convenient for them to put me on the sidelines, but I’m not staying on the sidelines.”
If Livestrong’s leaders agreed to ask Armstrong to come back, would he?
“That is a very tricky, tricky question,” Armstrong told the newspaper. “I’d have to … I don’t know the answer to that right now. That would have to involve a lot of conversation. I’m a big believer in the whole Jim Collins theory of who’s on the bus, who’s been on the bus, wanted to get off the bus and wanted to get off the bus now. We might have to look at who’s on the bus.
“I don’t see that happening anytime soon. In fact, I’m almost certain that’s not going to happen.”
Armstrong, 42, was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1996 and started the Lance Armstrong Foundation (later changed to Livestrong) in 1997.
He won a record seven straight Tour de France titles from 1999 through 2005, was banned for life and stripped of those titles in 2012 for doping and had his ties with Livestrong severed.