Chuck Berkeley, a men’s bobsledder who failed to make the U.S. Olympic team in Sochi, attacked Lolo Jones in an interview with the Associated Press and ESPN on Wednesday.
He said Jones has a “bad attitude,” and her presence caused an internal rift in the American bobsledding program this year.
Jones is a push athlete, meaning her influence in a bobsled run is largely limited to the opening five seconds of the race. While her two-man sled finished 11th (out of 19) in the Tuesday’s heats at the Sochi Olympics, her push times were solid.
Without naming names, Berkeley said, “I get that people want to latch on to a media sensation and run wild. But it comes down to this: There are athletes who deserve to be there who are not there, on the women’s and the men’s sides.”
Before the Olympics a number of athletes said Jones didn’t deserve to make the team, despite the fact that her push times were competitive with Katie Eberling’s, who they say should have had Lolo’s spot.
Berkeley, who said that he thought he should have made the men’s team and that the bobsled federation is “corrupt,” also attacked Jones as a person:
“From my personal experience with Lolo, she’s had a very bad attitude.”
“The men’s and women’s teams, we kept our distance from each other this year because of Lolo Jones. For no other reason. We like everybody else. It was because of Lolo Jones.”
Berkley competed in the 2010 Olympics.
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