Former Armstrong teammate protests Nike's support

Credit: KGW

Paul Willerton, who raced with Lance Armstrong in the early 1990s, protested at Nike Tuesday morning.

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by KGW Staff

Bio | Email | Follow: @KGWNews

kgw.com

Posted on October 16, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 17 at 9:21 AM

BEAVERTON, Ore. – One of Lance Armstrong’s former cycling teammates form the early 1990s staged a protest outside of Nike's world headquarters in Beaverton Monday.

Paul Willerton said he is disgusted with Nike's decision to stand by Armstrong despite a scathing report on the cycling legend's long history of doping.

More: USADA on elaborate doping ring

Nike released a statement supporting Armstrong on the same day that the USADA released its reasoned decision detailing its evidence against the embattled former US Postal team leader.

Willerton said he and a few other protesters want the sportswear giant to "just do the right thing."

“I want Nike to act. I want Nike to acknowledge the truth. I want Nike to point out they are the ones to give Lance Armstrong this platform,” he said.

Willerton added that he feels Nike could find a way to continue supporting Armstrong's Livestrong cancer foundation without backing him personally.

According to a Cycling News story about his protest, Willerton rode alongside Armstrong in the early 1990s at an amateur world championship road race and one professional world championship road race.

Willerton told Cycling News that he never personally witnessed anyone doping in those years, but that based on out-of-ordinary rider performance of the era, he said the current scandal doesn't serve as an explanation.

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