- Darren Rovell, ESPN.com Sports Business reporter
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If the donations to the Lance Armstrong Foundation are to tail off, it certainly didn't happen the day after Armstrong decided to stop fighting charges that he used performance-enhancing drugs during his cycling career.
The Livestrong foundation's CEO, Doug Ulman, told ESPN on Friday night that unsolicited donations were up almost 25 times as compared to Thursday.
Ulman said $3,200 came in Thursday to the organization's website, which was in the range of what it typically receives. As of 4:30 p.m. ET on Friday, Ulman noted $78,000 in donations.
The number of people donating increased as well.
On Thursday, the foundation had 45 people donating through the website. On Friday, hours after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said it had enough information to strip Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles, 411 people felt compelled to donate.
Merchandise sales were up almost threefold, from $4,000 in gear sold on Thursday to $11,000 sold on Friday.
"We've heard from our strongest supporters," Ulman said. "And while they are frustrated with the outcome, they are relieved to put this behind them and get back to business."
Every sponsor of Armstrong or the Foundation chose to publicly stand by them Friday. Nike, Anheuser-Busch, Oakley, Johnson Health Tech, Sporting KC, FRS, Honey Stinger and American Century Investments all issued statements of support.
In the past 15 years, the Lance Armstrong Foundation has raised more than $470 million, more than any athlete charity in history.
Darren Rovell is ESPN's sports business insider.