Backer Oakley Drops Armstrong Over Doping Scandal

Sunglasses maker Oakley has become the latest to drop cyclist over a doping scandal that has seen him stripped of his seven Tour de titles.

Oakley, owned by ’s Luxottica, acted on Monday after the International Union (UCI) ratified the Anti-Doping Agency’s sanctions against the American, banning him for life.

The company said it would continue to support the Livestrong cancer support charity founded by Armstrong, himself a cancer survivor. Armstrong stepped down as chairman of the charity last week.

“Based on (the) UCI’s decision today and the overwhelming evidence that DA presented, Oakley has severed its longstanding relationship with , effective immediately,” the company said in a statement.

“We are deeply saddened by the outcome, but look forward with hope to athletes and teams of the future who will rekindle that inspiration by clean, fair and honest,” it added.

U.S. sportswear company Nike last week terminated its contract with Armstrong and brewer Anheuser-Busch said it would end its relationship with him when their agreement expires at the end of 2012.

Oakley s a number of leading cyclists including , who this year became the first Briton to win the Tour de .

Dutch bank ended its ship of professional last week, saying it was not convinced the sport could clean up its act.

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