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from www.sportingnews.com – Following the course of a branch of Disney’s entertainment empire to cut ties with Suzy Favor Hamilton, more organizations are considering similar moves in the wake of the former Olympic runner’s admission to being a call girl.
Hamilton had been a representative for a trade organization, a foot ware chain and running events. That all changed course Thursday when it was disclosed she had been a $600-a-night escort in Las Vegas.
Things could get even worse for Hamilton, as reports began to circulate about law enforcement investigations into the firm that employed her. That company works across state lines, according to the Daily Beast website, and apparently violates federal laws. Reports also say Hamilton booked dates in Los Angeles, Houston and Chicago in addition to Las Vegas. Prostitution is illegal in all those locations.
Hamilton’s ties to running are natural. She took part in the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Olympics, representing the United States in middle distance events. She is a high-school legend in Wisconsin, an icon at the University of Wisconsin, held numerous running records and won several championships. The Big Ten’s annual award to its best female athlete carries her name.
And she turned her athletic prowess into commercial success, including an ad for Nike.
That might not last, given the tone of discussion of her shocking secret life.
“Things will never be the same,” Peter Henkes, who runs Foot Locker’s Midwest regional running series, told the Wisconsin State Journal.
“Unfortunately some bad decisions have hurt not only her but kids in the future because she can’t be that role model again.”
Hamilton had been a volunteer at the chain’s running events. It’s unlikely, Henkes said, Foot Locker will allow her back.
“There is not a person in my opinion who has given more back to the sport of distance running than she has,” Henkes said. “That’s why it’s so tragic. We’re losing Suzy.”
Also reconsidering its ties with Hamilton is the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association.
“We’re deeply sorry to hear about Suzy Favor Hamilton’s struggles,” Duane Maatz, executive director of growers group, told the Journal. “We wish her the best going forward and hope she finds stability.”
Wisconsin’s ties with Hamilton are deep, but they could be cut soon. The university’s School of Education had her as a motivational speaker for a summer camp, including one coming in July. Her name was removed from the camp’s website this week.
Also coming to an end is Hamilton’s connection to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series, the newspaper reported.
“Certainly there’s no foreseeable plans to have her make any appearances in the future,” spokesman Dan Cruz said, “It’s going to be tough for anybody to work with her in a professional capacity for a long time.”