Ford Motor Co. recently released a new YouTube video for its 2015 Mustang that features Kayle Leogrande, a competitive cyclist who served a two-year suspension for doping during his racing career, indirectly leading to the downfall of American sports icon Lance Armstrong.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) suspended Leogrande from cycling in 2008, and his doping case ultimately led investigators to Armstrong’s team, sponsored by the U.S. Postal Service.
After a long investigation, USADA successfully stripped Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles in 2012, claiming “evidence shows beyond any doubt that the US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team ran the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.”
Ford’s video provoked a strong backlash on Twitter with several people questioning the choice of Leogrande as a representative for Ford.
Business Insider watched the video several times on Thursday in order to report about it for this story, but the video was apparently removed from YouTube by Ford sometime Thursday afternoon.
Ford’s video, titled “For the Love. #InAMustang,” showed Kayle and his wife, Chelsea Leogrande, driving a red Mustang along scenic roads.
At one point in the video, Leogrande said, “Whether it’s cycling or driving, I’ve always felt a true connection with the road.”
The “About” text on the YouTube page read: “Watch the reawakening of this couple’s passion for work, life, and each other.”
The video also erroneously referred to Leogrande as a “professional cyclist.” But according to the sport’s governing body in the U.S., USA Cycling, he holds an amateur category-one racing licence.
A user on Instagram posted a parody of the video:
Ford’s video was posted on YouTube on Aug. 8, and as of Thursday afternoon it had over 11,000 views. Comments for the video were disabled.
Representatives for Ford did not respond to repeated requests for comment. Not long after we reached out, however, the video was removed from YouTube.
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