For fans of Livestrong it's just business as usual


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The Independent Online

Not everyone seems to have been crushed by the revelations about Lance Armstrong as a dope cheat – least of all the man himself.

"What am I doing tonight? Hanging with the family, unaffected and thinking about this," he tweeted yesterday, adding a link to his Livestrong cancer charity, which is holding a gala evening next week starring Armstrong and celebrities including Robin Williams, Sean Penn and Norah Jones.

While his reputation as a cycling legend may lie in tatters, his record as a fundraiser for cancer, and an inspiration to sufferers like himself, seemed to redeem him in the eyes of some.

"So it looks like Lance Armstrong will be found guilty for taking drugs. How dare he try and cure his cancer," tweeted one supporter.

British cyclist Alex Dowsett said Armstrong is "still a legend" for what he had done for cancer and because he "came back [from the disease] and won the Tour."

Others were less charitable, citing the millions he had raised as "the [Jimmy] Savile defence". Some commentators also suggested illicit drug taking had made him susceptible to cancer.

Armstrong was diagnosed with testicular cancer which had spread to his lungs and brain in 1996 at the age of 25 and given a 40 per cent of survival. After chemotherapy and radiotherapy he recovered and, in addition to his record breaking run of seven Tour de France wins, established the Lance Armstrong Foundation which has raised over $325m.