Olympic Champion Carl Lewis Claims He Was Bullied by Chris Christie  

The former track-and-field star said that the New Jersey governor asked him to drop out of the state Senate race in 2011.

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Andrew Cowie/AFP/GettyImages

Updated Tues., Jan. 21, 3:35 p.m. EST: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says that former Olympian Carl Lewis is just suffering from a bit of “sour grapes” in response to the track star’s accusations that Christie pushed him out of the 2011 state Senate race, NBC News reports

Courts ultimately upheld the decision made by Christie’s Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno to exclude Lewis from the race because he did not meet the state’s residency requirement. Lewis tells it differently, saying that Christie called him and allegedly said, “I’m going to come after you.” 

“Unfortunately, this coming now is obviously a sour-grapes rehash of a clear-cut legal issue which did not fall his way,” Christie spokesman Colin Reed said, according to the news site. “Mr. Lewis was disqualified from running on the basis of residency by every court—state and federal—and lost at every level, including all of his appeals.”

Earlier:

Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis is joining the many voices slamming New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as a bully.

The former track-and-field star is claiming that the often brash Republican tried to deter him from running as a Democratic for state Senate in 2011 against Republican Sen. Dawn Addiego, New York’s Daily News reports.

According to the Daily News, Christie dismissed a plan to appoint Lewis as New Jersey’s first physical fitness ambassador when Lewis announced his plan to campaign against Addiego, a friend of Christie’s. Lewis said that he was told the fitness program would not come to fruition if he ran for the state Senate. As the nine-time Olympic gold medalist put it, Christie felt that the position “was a carrot he could pull away.”

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