The article discusses the fate of Lance Armstrong, a world champion cyclist accused of using drugs to enhance performance. Several companies that used Armstrong in commercials to promote their brand ended their partnerships.
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These companies include Nike, RadioShack corporation, Trek Bicycle Corporation, FRS Company and Anheuser-Busch (Albergotti et al par1). Among these companies, Nike was the harshest stating that the evidence presented against Armstrong by USADA was overwhelming.
Despite ending the partnership, Nike maintained that it would continue to sponsor Armstrong’s Livestrong Foundation that supports cancer patients.
Owing to the doping allegations that he denies, Armstrong resigned from the foundation’s leadership. Nike has in the past stood by Armstrong when similar allegations of doping were brought against him.
These companies manufactured the things that Armstrong used in his cycling career including helmets, bicycles, sunglasses and clothes (Albergotti et al par4). The allegations have tarnished Armstrong’s image, and his ratings as a favorite among companies have declined greatly.
Oakley Inc. maintained that it was reviewing the allegations and would determine the fate of their relationship with Armstrong after a verdict by the International Cycling Union. Unlike Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant and Michael Vick who Nike strongly supported even after their scandalous accusations, Nike has disowned Armstrong even though they maintain that they believe he did not use drugs to enhance performance (Albergotti et al par10).
The action taken by the companies of distancing themselves from Armstrong is understandable because he risks tarnishing their image too. In addition, the allegations presented by USADA give these companies a reason to end their relationship with Armstrong.
Their actions have protected their corporate image because they have presented themselves as responsible companies that do not support the use of drugs. The decision by Nike to continue sponsoring Livestrong foundation is commendable because it is a gesture of their corporate social responsibility (Park par9).
In addition, the decision by Oakley Inc. await the verdict of the International Cycling Union is fair because the allegations may be false. Armstrong’s decision not to appeal makes him appear guilty against the allegations of using and distributing performance enhancement drugs (Park par1).
However, the cancellation of his endorsements by these companies is very harsh. They do not have any other evidence to prove that Armstrong doped part from the USADA report. In addition, the decision by the witnesses to testify against Armstrong is unfair because they agreed after finding out that he had decided not to appeal.
The incongruence in the affidavits of the witnesses is also an indication of Armstrong’s unfair treatment by USADA and the companies. Armstrong’s doctor has denied administering drugs to Armstrong (Mitchell par3).
The law firm that handles USADA’s legal matters may have a grudge against Armstrong because he fights laws that encourage tobacco use, which the firm supports. The decision by Nike to end its partnership with Armstrong is unfair because of two main reasons. First, they are relying on USADA’s report that they cannot verify whether it is true or false.
Their action further tarnishes Armstrong’s image despite the charitable work he has done (Pearson par6). Secondly, they continued to support Tiger Woods and Kobe Bryant who had scandals that tarnished their images.
It is ironical and unfair for Nike to end their partnership with Armstrong because they maintain that they believe Armstrong did not use performance enhancement drugs (Mitchell par8).
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Nike and the other companies should have waited for the verdict of the International Cycling union before deciding to distance themselves from Armstrong. In addition, they should have conducted research to find the truth and use it to decide who is right between Armstrong and USADA.
Albergotti, Reed, O’Connell, Vanessa, and Vranica, Suzanne. Lance Armstrong Gets Dumped. Web.
Mitchell, Houston. Lance Armstrong’s Former Physician Denies All Doping Allegations. Web.
Park, Alice. Which Drug is Lance Armstrong Accused of Taking? Web.
Pearson, Michael. Lance Armstrong’s Legacy May Withstand Accusations. Web.