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U.S. Bobsled Federation rejects spurned brakewoman’s complaint

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The U.S. Bobsled Federation denied a hearing to spurned brakewoman Jen Davidson, who was dropped by pilot Jean Racine the week before Olympic trials.

Davidson filed a grievance last week, asking for a hearing and a race-off against Gea Johnson, the former heptathlete champion Racine picked to replace Davidson.

"It is what we expected, but it's obviously discouraging," Davidson said of the decision Wednesday. "But I'm going to move forward and exhaust all of my options to chase my dreams."

Davidson's attorney, Mark Gaylord, said they could seek arbitration before the American Arbitration Association.

"We're still considering our options," Gaylord said.

Federation officials said there was not enough time before the games to give the Racine and Johnson the required 30-day period to respond.

Matt Roy, executive director of the bobsled federation, has said Davidson had the opportunity to push off two weeks before the trials, but chose not to.

Davidson contends Racine told her there was no need for her to compete in the push-off and that her dismissal did not meet the federation's criteria by which pilots choose their brakewomen.

Racine told the Standard-Examiner in Ogden that she compared Davidson to Johnson in September at Canada's Calgary track. Davidson demonstrated her push start on Sept. 29, Johnson on Sept. 30. Johnson's start was 0.13 of a second faster, she said.

Davidson won two world championships in four years and earned 21 World Cup medals in the sled with Racine. Though the two struggled this season by their standards, they were tied for No. 3 in the world.

On Dec. 22, Racine and Johnson set a track record at the Olympic trials in Park City. The victory not only put them on the Olympic squad, but put them among the favorites when the women's event is run at the Winter Games for the first time.