Washington: Lance Armstrong lost another big-name sponsor today when Oakley, the sports eyewear maker, broke off its relationship with the disgraced American road cyclist.
     
"When Lance joined our family many years ago, he was a symbol of possibility," it said in statement just hours after world cycling governing body UCI stripped Armstrong of virtually all his race results.
     
"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 racing clean, fair and honest."
     
Oakley, a unit of Italy's Luxottica group, the world's biggest eyewear manufacturer, added however that it would continue to support the "noble goals" of Livestrong, the cancer charity that Armstrong founded.
     
Sponsors started abandoning Armstrong last week when the US Anti-Doping Agency alleged that he and his US Postal Service teammates were at the heart of the most sophisticated and successful doping program in sports history.
     
They included sportswear giant Nike, which said it had been "misled" by Armstrong for more than a decade, Budweiser brewer Anheuser-Busch and Trek, makers of the bicycles he rode to first place in seven Tour de France races.

(Agencies)

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