No sanctions expected in Jones bar incident

TIM REYNOLDS
Last updated 04:19 18/07/2013

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The US Bobsled and Skeleton Federation said it has found no reason to sanction Olympic hopeful Lolo Jones for her role in a nightclub altercation that involved the stepdaughter of one of the sport's Hall of Famers.

Jones and the woman, whose name was not released, got into some sort of argument early Saturday and were eventually separated by bouncers at Roomers, a popular club in Lake Placid, New York, where the federation is based. USBSF spokeswoman Amanda Bird said the team found no proof to support widespread reports that Jones "knocked out" the woman, who is the stepdaughter of longtime bobsled fixture Tony Carlino.

Police said no charges or reports were filed. Jones did not return requests for comment, and made no mention of the incident or the attention it received on her Twitter account.

USBSF CEO Darrin Steele told The Associated Press he did not believe any violations of the team's code of conduct occurred.

"That could change if new information emerges, but I'm not expecting that to happen at this point," Steele said. "It's a good reminder of why our athletes need to avoid putting themselves in situations where things like this can happen."

Other US bobsled athletes were present at the club, though the federation did not believe anyone else was directly involved in the incident.

Carlino, who was enshrined in the federation's Hall of Fame in 2012 and manages the complex that includes the track the US bobsled, skeleton and luge teams call home at Mt. Van Hoevenberg, just outside of Lake Placid, made USBSF officials aware of the nightclub incident Saturday morning.

Carlino did not return a message seeking comment, and USBSF officials reached Tuesday were unsure of his stepdaughter's name.

"We all feel bad the situation happened and we want to put this behind us and focus on winning medals in Sochi," Steele said.

It's the latest incident where Jones' involvement has created a frenzy.

This season will be her second in bobsledding, a sport she turned to shortly after finishing fourth in the 100-meter hurdles at the London Olympics last year and dealing with widespread criticism - even from some of her US track teammates - over the level of attention and endorsements she receives. Four years earlier in Beijing, she was the favorite and was in position to win gold when she hit the ninth of 10 hurdles and wound up seventh.

Her lifestyle choices when it comes to dating and relationships are constant Twitter fodder. She once challenged former Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand to a race without knowing he was paralysed, and recently raised eyebrows when she tried to make a joke about the US$741 check she received for prize money won in sliding this past season.

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She also recently said she would donate the money won in her final hurdle race of the season to two teammates who are fundraising to support their hopes of making the team headed to Sochi next winter.

"If bobsled brought me one thing, it brought me peace," Jones told AP earlier this year.

Jones is a push athlete, and will vie to be in one of the three sleds on the US women's team for next winter's Olympics. She likely will be part of the World Cup circuit to start the season this fall, and based on her performances last season - a silver medal in her first World Cup race, and helping the US win gold in the team competition at the world championships - she figures to have a strong shot of being selected for Sochi.

- AP

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