Posted: Oct 23, 2012 7:42 AM by Drew Trafton - Q2 News
Updated: Oct 23, 2012 7:42 AM
BILLINGS - The Billings Family YMCA, the first YMCA in the state of Montana to be affiliated with Lance Armstrong's Livestrong Foundation, will stick with the organization despite recent revelations that it's founder was at the center of a sophisticated doping ring during his cycling career.
On Monday, cycling's international governing body announced Armstrong has received a lifetime ban from the sport of cycling.
The ban comes on the same day The Tour de France stripped Armstrong of all seven of the titles he won at the competition from 1999 to 2005.
Earlier this month, Armstrong announced he would stop fighting the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which had made accusations against the cyclist for several years as it built a case against him.
The result: on top of the ban from cycling and being stripped of his accolades, Armstrong also lost endorsement deals with several companies and was forced to step down as chairman of the popular Livestrong Foundation.
Armstrong founded the Livestrong Foundation in 1997 as he recovered from cancer.
And it's the connection to the deadly disease which Billings Family YMCA CEO Tina Postel says will keep the two organizations partnered moving forward.
"Livestrong is really about more than one person," said Postel. "Despite the controversy, Livestrong is not about Lance Armstrong. I mean, many people still think of him as a champion-- but not because of his athletic abilities-- but because of his survival."
In January, The Billings YMCA will begin a free program for cancer survivors paid for by a grant from the Livestrong Foundation.
Postel says that program will be available for survivors at any stage of recovery.