The Daily Beast has pulled journalist Nico Hines from covering the Olympic Games in the wake of a controversial story that outed gay athletes, the International Olympic Committee said on Sunday.
“We understand the organization concerned recalled the journalist after complaints and withdrew the story,” the IOC said in a statement to Outsports.
Hines, who is straight and married, used the cruising app Grindr to lure and identify gay athletes competing in the Rio games. He also used apps like Tinder to assess the heterosexual scene in Olympic Village.
“This kind of reporting is simply unacceptable,” the IOC added.
Daily Beast Editor-in-Chief John Avlon did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on Hines’ whereabouts.
The story — “The Other Olympic Sport in Rio: Swiping” — has since been removed in what an editors note described as an “unprecedented but necessary” step.
Olympic Village is notorious for casual encounters in very high numbers, as thousands of able-bodied athletes convene and pass the time between competitions. Hines used several dating and “hook-up” apps, including gay and straight programs like Grindr and Tinder, and wrote about his findings.
Criticism immediately followed because the original version of the story included obvious identifiers of gay and closeted athletes — some of whom come from countries where openly identifying as LGBT is illegal. The story was edited to exclude some of those specifics before it was ultimately taken down.
“We were wrong. We’re sorry. And we apologize to the athletes who may have been inadvertently compromised by our story,” the site said in a lengthy apology.
“Today we did not uphold a deep set of The Daily Beast’s values. These values–which include standing up to bullies and bigots, and specifically being a proudly, steadfastly supportive voice for LGBT people all over the world–are core to our commitment to journalism and to our commitment to serving our readers.”