A firestorm has erupted over Oprah Winfrey’s interview with gold medal-winning Olympic gymnast Gabrielle Douglas, who claims other girls at the gym where she first trained called her a "slave," reports Yahoo! TV.
In the interview for “Oprah’s Next Chapter,” Douglas recalled, "One of my teammates was like, ‘Can you scrape the bar?’ And they were like, ‘Why doesn’t Gabby do it, she’s our slave?’" Douglas said she felt isolated by the remark.
“The 16-year-old said she finally left the gym when she was 14: ‘I was scared at my old gym to show my potential. … I was just holding back,’" the story reports.
The gym has denied the allegations of racism.
Randy Stageburg, a former elite gymnast who trained at the same gym, Excalibur Gymnastics, wrote on the website Gymnewstics, "The accusations that are being made against the gymnasts and coaches are just sickening."
"I am not saying that she never felt bullied, because when you are in a sport with a bunch of girls, it is bound to happen. However, anything that she may have felt was never about race, and I can assure you everyone at some point has felt bullied," Stageburg wrote.
Excalibur Gymnastics CEO Gustavo Maure said in a statement that the "accusation is fake," according to Yahoo! TV. "This wouldn’t be the first time that the media has made up a story," Maure said.