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Cancer survivor, triathlete writes open letter to Armstrong

Saturday - 1/19/2013, 2:02am  ET

Armstrong.jpg
In this Monday, Jan. 14, 2013, file photo provided by Harpo Studios Inc., Lance Armstrong listens as he is interviewed by talk show host Oprah Winfrey during taping for the show "Oprah and Lance Armstrong: The Worldwide Exclusive" in Austin, Texas. Armstrong confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France cycling during the interview that aired Thursday, Jan. 17, reversing more than a decade of denial. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Harpo Studios, Inc., George Burns, File)

Brown's open letter to Lance Armstrong

Stephen Brown, triathlete and cancer survivor

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WASHINGTON - Lance Armstrong's recent admission to using performance-enhancing drugs during the height of his cycling career is upsetting some fans more than others.

In reaction to the news, Stephen Brown - a cancer survivor, triathlete, coach, writer and speaker from the Philadelphia area - wrote an emotional letter to Armstrong on his website.

In an interview with WTOP, Brown said he does not forgive Armstrong for using the performance-enhancing drugs, but does understand why he felt the need for them.

"I understand his need to feel like he needed to be on a level playing field with some of his competitors. I get that on some level," Brown told WTOP on Friday.

However, Brown says what angers him the most is that Armstrong denied using performance-enhancing drugs on the basis of surviving cancer.

"That's a breach of a cancer warrior code," Brown says. "You just don't do that thing."

Even after Armstrong's confession, which aired Thursday with Oprah Winfrey, Brown does not think the public will abandon Livestrong, the cancer charity Armstrong founded in 1997.

"Livestrong has become bigger than Lance Armstrong. Livestrong is going to flourish," Brown says. "I think at some point in time somebody is going to look back and say, ‘Hey, what was the name of that guy who founded this organization again?'"

When asked if he is still sporting a Livestrong bracelet, Brown said yes.

"I keep looking at it and I keep thinking if I want to take it off or if I don't, but you know what - the bracelet says ‘Livestrong,' it doesn't say ‘Armstrong' so for the time being I am going to keep wearing it."

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