By James Crook

ArmstrongLivestrong200113January 20 -  Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise Sporting Kansas City have terminated their partnership with the Livestrong Foundation due to the "aggressive tactics" used by the charity, which was founded by disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong.

Sporting KC agreed a deal with Livestrong in 2011 which saw them change the name of their stadium to the Livestrong Sporting Park, as well as vowing to donate around $7.5 million (£4.7 million/€5.6 million) in revenue from the arena over six years to the charity.

However, the MLS side have terminated the deal, with chief executive Ron Heineman claiming that Livestrong used "aggressive tactics designed to force us into an unsatisfactory arrangement".

He added: "There have been several instances over the last 22 months when our partnership with Livestrong has been called into question, both by media and the general public.

"Throughout this entire period, we have staunchly defended the Livestrong mission and never wavered in our continuing support of the cause.

"Our plan was that through collaborative support from Livestrong, we would not just meet our stated donation goal, but exceed it by a wide margin."

LivestrongPark200113Major League Soccer club Sporting Kansas City have now terminated their relationship with Lance Armstrong's charity Livestrong

Heineman did not state to what extent the ongoing Lance Armstrong doping scandal had on the decision to ditch Livestrong, but he did not deny that it had an influence.

"The severance for us was about violating the trust of a partnership," Heineman said.

"That's what they did.

"Does Lance bleed over into that?


"Whether anyone wants to say it or not, he's connected to the Foundation.

"He's why we have to always answer questions around him.

"It's something you can't get away from.

"If this would just have been about Lance and his reputation, would we have made the same decision at some point?


Armstrong admitted to doping for all seven of his Tour De France victories after years of denial in an interview with US chat show host Oprah Winfrey which was screened worldwide last Thursday (January 17).

The 41-year-old formed the charity in 1997 as "The Lance Armstrong Foundation", with the intent to "inspire and empower" cancer survivors and their families. 

Testicular cancer survivor Armstrong stepped down as chairman of the foundation in October last year as reports of his doping came to light, with the name of the organisation changed to "The Livestrong Foundation" just weeks later.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
August 2012: Major League Soccer club to keep Armstrong's charity's name on stadium