The AP’s Emily Fredrick reports Trek Bicycles have ended a long-standing relationship with former Tour De France winner Greg LeMond, claiming his public remarks about doping were…bumming people out?
LeMond has a “troubling pattern of inconsistent business dealings,” Trek president John Burke said Tuesday.
He said throughout the company’s relationship with LeMond, the cyclist would renege on promises, like saying he would curb his comments about doping and focus more on the brand. Trek then invested money in the brand, Burke said, only to have LeMond speak out again, which sent sales downward and frustrated dealers and customers.
“Doping is a very important topic for our industry. We never discouraged Greg from speaking out about doping in cycling,” Burke said. “We know there is a difference between attacking an issue and destroying reputations. Greg’s public comments damaged the LeMond brand, and our reputation with retailers and consumers.”
Trek is best known among cyclists for making the bikes that Lance Armstrong rode in his Tour de France victories. With brands like Trek, Gary Fisher and Klein, the company sells 1.5 million bikes a year and does $700 million in sales.
Trek has strong ties with Armstrong and Burke said Tuesday that the former champ was not informed of the company’s decision to drop LeMond.