The Ulman Cancer Fund has no plans to drop its partnership with Lance Armstrong or his cancer foundation in the wake of the cyclist's decision to no longer fight the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency on performance-enhancing drug allegations.
"Our personal view is that (Armstrong) has always been a longtime supporter of the work we do, and one of our largest single donors," said Ulman Cancer Fund President and CEO Brock Yetso. "We've worked closely with Livestrong, and this has been an unfortunate distraction from the cancer fight."
On Friday, the USADA issued a lifetime cycling ban of Armstrong and stripped him of his record seven Tour de France titles. The move came after Armstrong decided he would not take the doping charges against him to arbitration. The USADA officially charged Armstrong with doping earlier this summer.
"There's been a pretty substantial reaction from folks," Yetso said. "But our reaction was probably not as profound as others may think. ... Our relationship and work and partnership with (the Lance Armstrong Foundation) has been focused on his work against cancer, which hasn't changed."
Armstrong, a cancer survivor, has a local connection: The founder of the Ulman Cancer Fund, County Executive Ken Ulman's brother Doug, is the president and CEO of Armstrong's foundation, and also a cancer survivor. The Ulman Cancer Fund and Lance Armstrong Foundation, both founded in 1997, have worked in partnership for many years, Yetso said, and that work will continue.
"There was a foundation before the Tour de France, and there will be one after," Yetso said. "Our partnership with them has only strengthened throughout the years, and we'll continue to work with them. ...
"I think people understand Lance's passion and commitment to cancer patients and survivor is separate (from his cycling). It doesn't have anything to do with what he's doing on his bike."