FACT CHECK: No, Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard Has Not Suffered An Injury That Prevents Her From Going To The Tokyo Olympics

Trevor Schakohl | Legal Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard suffered a “testicle injury” that prevents her from competing in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.

Fact Check:

Hubbard has not suffered such an injury. The claim stems from a satirical article.

Verdict: False

The image, which has been shared nearly 600 times, shows what appears to be a screen grab of a June 21 article that puts up the headline “Female Weightlifter Suffers Tragic Testicle Injury Just Weeks Before Tokyo Olympics.” It features a photo of Hubbard, who is set to be the first transgender Olympic competitor, lifting a barbell.

In reality, no mention of Hubbard suffering an injury that would prevent her from participating in the upcoming Olympic games can be found on the New Zealand Olympic Committee’s website or on the team’s verified social media accounts. Hubbard was named on June 21 to New Zealand’s team for Tokyo, according to a press release.

An internet search by Check Your Fact didn’t turn up any major media outlets reporting on Hubbard suffering an injury since being named to New Zealand’s Tokyo Olympics team, either. (RELATED: Does This Video Show The Fireworks Display Meant For The Tokyo Olympics?)

The headline and text in the screen grab match those in a satirical article recently published by The Babylon Bee. In its “About Us” section, The Babylon Bee describes itself as a “satire website” that publishes “satire about Christian stuff, political stuff, and everyday life.”

While The Babylon Bee clearly states that it produces satirical content, the Facebook post containing the screen grab fails to disclaim the satirical origins of the claim. The lack of disclaimer in the Facebook post appears to have led some users to believe the story was real.

The Tokyo Olympics were originally supposed to take place during the summer of 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they were rescheduled for July 23 to Aug. 8, 2021, according to a press release from the International Olympic Committee.

Trevor Schakohl

Legal Reporter
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