Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones’ goal of making the US bobsled team for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi may remain despite reports that she was involved in a confrontation with the stepdaughter of a US bobsled official.
United States Bobsled Federation CEO Darrin Steele said he did not believe any violations of the team’s code of conduct occurred.
"We treated the incident like we have with any other situation by investigating to see if there is a code of conduct violation," Steele told E! News. "After speaking with the athletes and witnesses, we don’t believe the team rules were violated. That could change if new information emerges, but we’re not expecting that to happen at this point. We feel bad about the situation and we want to put this behind us and focus on winning medals in Sochi."
Other US bobsled athletes were present at the club, though the federation did not believe anyone else was directly involved in the incident.
On Monday night’s edition of FOX Sports Tonight, Amy Van Dyken reported (just after the 34-minute mark of the audio) that Jones had "knocked out" the stepdaughter of Tony Carlino at a bar in Lake Placid, NY, last Friday.
Carlino was the former head of Team USA, and he currently runs the Olympic training track in Lake Placid. And according to Van Dyken, members of the team, who were also in town to train, were instructed not to discuss the incident.
"Apparently they got together right after — because everybody goes back to the training center — they got together and said ‘No one whisper a word of this; no one say anything,’" Van Dyken said. "So that’s why you haven’t heard about it up until now."
On Tuesday, Deadspin followed up on Van Dyken’s report, citing an anonymous athlete who said the altercation occurred sometime after 1 a.m. at Roomers Night Club. Another tipster who claims to have been at the bar at the time of the fight also provided some details.
"He tells us that Carlino’s stepdaughter was visibly drunk, and verbally confronted Jones near the dance floor," the tipster reported. "Jones then pushed the stepdaughter to the ground, he said, and left the bar. … The stepdaughter pursued Jones outside, where the two were separated by bouncers.”
Deadspin also suggested that the gag order among Team USA members may be related to next week’s National Bobsled Push Championships in Calgary, which could increase Jones’ chances of earning a trip to Sochi as a push athlete. The anonymous athlete indicated that he or she "believes that if this incident involved any other athlete besides Jones, USBSF would have acted already."