Oakley continue athlete's contract until "proven guilty"
Lance Armstrong’s sponsorship deals continue to disappear as component maker SRAM announced the termination of its contract with the former Tour de France winner. SRAM is the most recent company to distance itself in the wake of USADA’s insurmountable evidence against the American and doping practices at his former US Postal team. Long-time eyewear partner Oakley will continue to honour the athlete’s contract until the UCI reach a final decision on the case.
"SRAM is officially terminating its product sponsorship agreement with Mr. Armstrong," said a company statement provided to ESPN. "SRAM is disappointed with the revelations that the USADA report has brought forth. Moving forward, SRAM will maintain its support of the Livestrong Foundation, as we believe in its purpose and value."
Having ridden Shimano components throughout his Tour de France victories Armstrong invested significant funds into SRAM in 2008 shortly before his return to the sport with Astana in 2009. He later sold his share in the company in June 2011 according to The Guardian.
Meanwhile, Oakley sent out a short message to their Twitter followers reaffirming their position with Armstrong stating they would not be making any decisions until the UCI has reached their final verdict.
"As guilty as the evidence shows, which we completely acknowledge, it is our promise & contractual obligation to stand by our athletes until proven guilty by the highest governing body of sport, or a court of law. We might be last off but we are not going to jump on the bandwagon as it breaks our promise to all of our athletes.
"We will wait for the UCI's conclusion and act at that time," Oakley wrote on Twitter.
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