Lolo Jones’ selection to the U.S. Olympic bobsled team was met with stiff opposition. After Jones’ first day of competition in Sochi, with her and teammate Jazmine Fenlator in 11th place out of 19 sleds, the former hurdler’s detractors have only grown louder.
Former American Olympic bobsledder Chuck Berkeley sounded off on Twitter on Tuesday, reiterating the popular narrative that Jones only earned a spot on the team for publicity purposes.
Chuck Berkeley (@ChuckBerkeley) February 18, 2014
Jones and Eberling were among the athletes competing for the final spot on the U.S. team ahead of the Olympics.
“I get that people want to latch on to a media sensation and run wild,” Berkeley told The Associated Press. “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. And you have to ask yourself, why is that the case? What is wrong with the selection process? Why is it flawed? Why is it corrupt?”
U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation CEO Darrin Steele told the AP on Wednesday that the federation stands by its selection.
Berkeley also was left off the Olympic team for Sochi, and he said he will not race again for the U.S. until the federation reassesses its management and coaching structure.