Olympics

Gymnastics spat a closed matter

Carlotta Ferlito of Italy competes in the Balance Beam
Carlotta Ferlito finished fourth on balance beam.
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ROME (AP)

The head of Italy's gymnastics federation Thursday condemned "every form of racism and discrimination" following offensive comments by one of the country's gymnasts. The president of USA Gymnastics considers the matter closed.

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Italians Vanessa Ferrari and Carlotta Ferlito finished fourth and fifth on the balance beam Sunday at the world championships in Belgium, just behind bronze medalist Simone Biles of the U.S. Ferlito said, with a laugh, that she told Ferrari: "Next time we'll have our skin black also so we can win, too."

On Thursday, Italian federation President Riccardo Agabio said in a statement he hopes this episode won't hurt the friendly relationship between the federations. Ferlito apologized on Twitter on Tuesday.

USA Gymnastics President Steve Penny said he'd been in contact with Agabio and Biles' family, and "we consider the matter is behind us."

Biles also won the all-around title, the first black gymnast to become world champion. At last year's London Games, Gabby Douglas became the first black woman to win the Olympic all-around.

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