EXETER — Philip Cable spent three years in the late 1990s as a professional bike racer, riding with famed cyclists and Tour de France champ Lance Armstrong and Tyler Hamilton.
“The rider looking up at me is Tyler Hamilton,” said Cable, pointing to a photograph of himself in a 165-mile race in Philadelphia in 1996. “He was one of the ones accused and he’s accusing Lance.”
Since that time, both men and other members of Armstrong’s team have been accused of using performance enhancing drugs.
This year the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency stripped Armstrong of his seven Tour de France wins and Armstrong has dropped his fight against those allegations.
“The finger pointers said ‘ah, you’re admitting it,’ but no I think he’s just fed up with it,” said Cable.
Cable, now a manager at Sickler’s Bike Shop in Exeter, said the doping scandal is overshadowing all the good Armstrong has done.
Armstrong, a cancer survivor, founded the Livestrong Foundation in 1997, which raises money to fight cancer.
In April, folks helped the charity by attending a 5K Walk/Run in Dallas called Livestrong Livelong.
Yellow rubber wristbands with the Livestrong name became hugely successful as Armstrong continued to win the tour.
“There were containers of bracelets sitting by every register everywhere,” said Cable.
Now Armstrong said he’s stepping down as chairman of Livestrong. Armstrong said he’ll remain on the board, but wants to distance the charity from the doping scandal.
Cable feels Livestrong will continue to live on.
“They have huge events, and I know folks that travel to those specifically and they don all the gear. It’s part of who they are now because it’s helped them through their hard times,” said Cable.
The American Cancer Society released this statement on Livestrong:
“The American Cancer Society and Livestrong share a mission to reduce global suffering and death from cancer, which causes one in eight deaths worldwide and is rapidly becoming a global pandemic. The society, along with so many others, has witnessed Livestrong’s powerful commitment to improving the quality of life of those with cancer, and fighting cancer globally. It is our hope that the organization will continue its important work. Reducing suffering and death from cancer is a moral imperative, and Livestrong’s contribution is sorely needed,” – Alexandra Houser Vukokder, Senior Director Media Relations, American Cancer Society, Inc.