Last week, gold medal-winning gymnast Gabby Douglas asserted in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that she was often bullied at her old gym in Virginia Beach. Now, her former coach and teammate have spoken out, denying Douglas's claims.
"I felt [I was] being bullied and so then [I was] isolated from the group and they treated me not how they would treat their other teammates," Douglas told Oprah Winfrey. "One of my teammates was like, 'Could you scrape the bar?' and they were like, 'Why doesn't Gabby do it, she's our slave.' I definitely felt isolated, I felt 'why am I deserving this? Is it because I'm black?'"
Douglas also claimed she was the only African-American at Excalibur gym.
Officials from the gym are now denying that claim, or that they ever knew of any bullying occurring.
NBC News cites an interview with Morgan Evans, another African-American who attended the same gym and competed alongside Douglas.
"It was shocking to me because when she was here, I thought she was pretty happy," Evans said.
The same article also quotes Douglas' former coach Dena Walker, who said Douglas always seemed very satisfied with Excalibur gym.
"It was like a slap in the face. I couldn't believe it," Walker said.
Walker also claims to have never heard Douglas called a "slave."
"I've never heard that once in my life," Walker said.
Other officials from the gym have also stepped out into the spotlight to says Douglas' allegations are exaggerated.
"The accusations that are being made against the gymnasts and coaches are just sickening," Randy Stageburg said in a statement to Gymnewstics.com. "Gabby was never a victim, in fact many would say she was one of the favorites. I never once heard her complain about girls being mean, funny how it is just now coming up."
Ultimately, though, Evans admits there may have been a good bit of bickering among the girls at the gym.
"I can't represent this whole gym just because I'm African American and I had a good experience here," Evans said. "Gabby has no reason to lie, but the truth always has a way of being over-exaggerated."