Posted: Thursday October 11, 2012 11:11AM ; Updated: Thursday October 11, 2012 11:11AM

Sporting KC to keep Livestrong despite Armstrong news

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Livestrong Park
Pregame fireworks backlight Livestrong Sporting Park.
Tyson Hofsommer/Zuma Press

LONDON (Reuters) -- U.S. football team Sporting Kansas City plan to retain their Livestrong stadium name despite its link to doping-tainted cyclist Lance Armstrong, chief executive Robb Heineman said on Thursday.

Under an unusual stadium naming deal signed in 2011, the club agreed to donate $7.5 million (4.6 million pounds) over six years to the Livestrong Foundation cancer charity set up by the American rider after his successful treatment for the disease.

Armstrong has been accused of being involved in an elaborate doping conspiracy and the United States Anti-Doping Agency has stripped him of his seven Tour de France titles.

Heineman said the charity did good work for cancer sufferers despite all the adverse publicity surrounding Armstrong.

"It's really about helping those afflicted with cancer," explained Heineman at the Leaders in Football conference at Chelsea Football Club's Stamford Bridge ground.

"We've got an agreement for another four years for it to be Livestrong Sporting Park. We don't stick our head in the sand ... but it doesn't change how we feel about the Foundation and the work they do."

Armstrong has attended two Major League Soccer matches at the stadium.

Copyright 2012 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
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