Convicted dog-killer Michael Vick remains welcome at Nike. So is serial philanderer Tiger Woods. Back in 2009, when Alex Rodriguez admitted using steroids to help him hit home runs, Nike stood by him and fulfilled his contract (until they quietly let it expire). But today, the billion-dollar sports apparel company found religion and cut ties with Lance Armstrong after the United States Anti-Doping Agency published evidence from its investigation into performance-enhancement doping. Accusations have always swirled around Armstrong, who recovered from cancer to win an unprecedented seven Tour de France races, but he’d never tested positive and repeatedly and passionately denied ever cheating.
Apparently, the latest revelations, which include sworn testimony from 11 former teammates, were the final straw. “Due to the seemingly insurmountable evidence that Lance Armstrong participated in doping and misled Nike for more than a decade, it is with great sadness that we have terminated our contract with him,” Nike said in a statement. “Nike does not condone the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs in any manner. Nike plans to continue support of the Livestrong initiatives created to unite, inspire and empower people affected by cancer.”