Where’s your sportsmanship? IOC hits out at ‘disappointing’ American goalkeeper Hope Solo
The International Olympic Committe condemned comments from USA goalkeeper Hope Solo on Saturday after she called Sweden a “bunch of cowards” following defeat at the Rio Games.
The often-controversial Solo drew fire with her outspoken remarks which Mark Adams, spokesman for the Olympic body, agreed were “disappointing”.
“If those were the comments it is disappointing but we can only keep talking about how we hope athletes will treat each other, and the Olympic values,” Adams said.
“People are free to say those things we wouldn’t stop their right to express themselves, within boundaries obviously.”
He added: “Obviously things are said in the heat of the moment. Clearly passions run very, very high and sometimes people say things they regret.
Solo railed against Sweden, marshalled by ex-USA coach Pia Sundhage, after Friday’s dramatic defeat on penalties ended the world champions’ bid for a fourth straight Olympic title.
“We played a bunch of cowards,” Solo told Sports Illustrated
“The better team did not win today. I strongly believe that. I think you saw American heart. You saw us give everything we had today.”
Sundhage responded by saying: “It is okay to be [a] coward if you win”, while Swedish goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl called Solo’s antics before the decisive penalty, where she attempted disruption by changing her gloves, an “act of panic”.
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The media-savvy 35-year-old has a record of controversy and she was suspended from the US team for 30 days over an incident during a training camp in January last year.
Solo, who has faced domestic violence charges, was also kicked off the team at the 2007 World Cup after publicly criticising the decision to replace her for the semi-final defeat to Brazil.
“I have a bad rap,” she told CNN in 2012. “People look at me as selfish, outspoken. But I know who I am.”