In her recently released book, Body Lengths, Jones describes the atmosphere between members of the Australian swimming team during the London Olympics as “toxic”, with Rice the worst offender.
According to Jones, Rice spoke behind her back about everything from her weight to her clothes to her way of walking. Although the teammates weren’t in direct competition in London, Jones describes Rice’s attitude towards her as “hurtful”.
When Jones confronted Rice in the change rooms at the Games, however, her accusations were met with apathy.
“She looked everywhere in the room except at my face. ‘Huh? What do you mean?’ she asks impassively. Apparently she has no recollection of the past few months, no memory of making comments to the others girls about my weight, my clothes, the way I walk or the way I swim,” Jones writes in Body Lengths.
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“She can’t remember bitching to my coaches about me or reporting on what I’ve eaten that day. What, she thinks I’m stupid? She thinks I don’t hear? Yeah, it’s small-scale, petty stuff, but it’s not what being in a team is about.
“I say all this to her and she leaves in a huff. But she cannot look me in the eye when she does.”
Rice has declined to comment on the allegations, or the current state of her friendship with Jones.