Anheuser-Busch follows Nike in dropping Armstrong sponsorship

Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:57pm EDT

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(Reuters) - Anheuser-Busch, the brewer of Budweiser, on Wednesday said it would not renew its relationship with Lance Armstrong at the end of 2012, but will continue to support the embattled former professional cycling racer's cancer charity.

Anheuser-Busch, the U.S. unit of Belgian brewing conglomerate Anheuser-Busch Imbev, became the second major Armstrong sponsor to drop the cyclist on Wednesday, one week after U.S. anti-doping authorities released a scathing report accusing the seven-time Tour de France winner of an elaborate cheating scheme using performance-enhancing drugs.

Earlier on Wednesday athletic apparel maker Nike Inc. dropped its sponsorship. Separately, Armstrong said he was stepping down as chairman of his cancer charity, Livestrong.

Both Anheuser and Nike said they would continue to support Livestrong's activities.

(Reporting By Dan Burns)