Last year Rodnina’s account tweeted a doctored photo of someone offering a banana to President Obama and the First Lady.
Rodnina initially defended the tweet, saying she was exercising her freedom of speech and that a friend from America sent her the photo as a joke.
“Freedom of speech is freedom,” she tweeted shortly after the photo was deleted in 2013.
The controversy surrounding the tweet resurfaced after Rodnina participated in lighting the Olympic torch during the opening ceremony for the Sochi Games.
Now, after much backlash, Rodnina is changing her story.
The Olympic gold medalist is now saying that the tweet was the result of a hacker.
“I respect the Obama family and apologize for not clearly stating earlier that I don’t support the tweeted photo or racism in any forum,” Rodnina said on Twitter.
“My account was hacked and I should have shown better judgement in my initial response and handling of the event,” Rodnina tweeted.
When controversy sparked over Rodnina lighting the Olympic torch, officials defended their decision by saying Rodnina was still a great athlete.
“She is a three-time Olympic champion, one of the most respected in the world of Olympic athletes,” Dmitriy Chernysheko, the CEO and president of the Sochi Games’ organizing committee said. “I want to stress that the Olympics is not about politics, and any political talks about discussions are inappropriate.”
This has been the first time the 64-year-old Olympic skater publicly apologized for the tweet.