Tufts University has become the latest institution to cut ties with disgraced cycling champion Lance Armstrong.
The university’s Board of Trustees unanimously voted to rescind the honorary degree it conferred upon Armstrong in 2006, a university spokeswoman said Wednesday.
“While continuing to respect the significant work of the Lance Armstrong Foundation, the board concluded that, in the wake of the recent report of the United States Anti-Doping Agency and its acceptance by the International Cycling Union, Mr. Armstrong’s actions as an athlete are inconsistent with the values of the university,” said Kimberly Thurler, director of public relations at Tufts.
Armstrong rose to fame and the pinnacle of the cycling world in the late 1990s and early 2000s, winning seven consecutive Tour de France titles after being successfully treated for testicular cancer.
This summer, the anti-doping agency charged Armstrong with using performance-enhancing drugs and helping to run a systematic doping program on his Tour de France teams.
Armstrong chose not to fight the accusations but denies having used banned substances. He was banned from competing for life and was stripped of all his titles.
Tufts is not the first organization to distance itself from the embattled cyclist.
Multiple companies, including Nike and Anheuser-Busch, have dumped Armstrong from sponsorship deals in the wake of the anti-doping agency’s reports. Armstrong’s name was also recently dropped from his cancer-fighting charity, the Livestrong Foundation.
He had already stepped down as chairman of the foundation and resigned from its board of directors.
Armstrong’s spokesman did not return an e-mail Wednesday seeking comment about Tufts’ decision.
After he received the degree from Tufts, Armstrong, clad in a school cycling jersey, exhorted 2006 graduates to make a difference. “As a 35-year-old guy speaking to some 20-year-olds, we can effect change all over the world, and I’m excited,” according to a transcript on the school’s website.
It is unusual, though not unheard of, for colleges to rescind honorary degrees.Johanna Kaiser can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org