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Burke distances herself from disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong

Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong awaits the start of the 2010 Cape Argus Cycle Tour in Cape Town March 14, 2010. REUTERS/Mik
Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong awaits the start of the 2010 Cape Argus Cycle Tour in Cape Town March 14, 2010. REUTERS/Mik

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)  Both Mary Burke and her former employer said she had nothing to do with the firm's relationship with disgraced Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong.

Burke is now running for governor as a Democrat, and she points proudly to the jobs she helped create when she worked for her family's Trek Bicycle business. She was with the Waterloo company when Armstrong had a deal to compete with Trek bicycles, years before he admitted long-time speculation that he used performance-enhancing drugs. Mary Burke was the head of strategic planning and forecasting for Trek it signed Armstrong. That was in 1998 when he was recovering from cancer, before he won seven Tour de France titles which he later gave up.

In the past decade Trek credited Armstrong with a revived interest in cycling -- and higher sales for the company. Back in 2005, former Tour de France winner Greg LeMond claimed that Trek C-E-O John Burke placed "immense pressure" on him to retract statements which questioned Armstrong's credibility on whether he used performance-enhancing drugs. Trek settled the lawsuit in 2010, and Armstrong admitted his drug use in January of this year.

Mary Burke recently told the Associated Press she never knew about the specifics of the Armstrong case, and it had nothing to do with her job. The A-P also said court records in the case never mentioned Mary Burke.

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