Texas: Lance Armstrong said Friday he has been through a "difficult couple of weeks," his only glancing mention of the doping scandal surrounding him at a gala celebrating his Livestrong charity.
"It's been an interesting couple of weeks," Armstrong said according to a report in his hometown newspaper, the Austin American-Statesman. "It's been a difficult couple of weeks for me and my family, my friends and this foundation."
The cyclist, who stands to be banned for life and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles, did not address the damning dossier issued last week by the US Anti-Doping Agency that placed the Texan at the heart of what it said was the biggest doping program in sports history.
A stream of corporate sponsors, including sportswear giant Nike, cut ties with him on Wednesday, when he also stepped down as chairman of Livestrong in an effort to protect the foundation from the scandal.
On Friday night, however, the 41-year-old could take it easy in the presence of some 1,500 supporters more focused on his role as an anti-cancer activist.
Access to the event was strictly controlled, but the American-Statesman quoted Armstrong as rallying the troops to continue the fight against cancer.
"The mission is bigger than me. It's bigger than any individual," Armstrong said.