Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank defends speedskating suit

Publish date:

Kevin Plank, 41, said the hoopla over his company's suit has been a humbling experience. (Joe Kohen/Getty Images)

Kevin Plank (Joe Kohen/Getty Images)

The United States has not won a speedskating medal at the Sochi Games and much of the blame has been placed on the "Mach 39" suit designed by Under Armour.

But the company's CEO, Kevin Plank, believes scapegoating the suit became "a witch hunt" and "the suit became the witch," according to an interview with USA Today published on Friday.

Under Armour announced on Friday it will not only renew its sponsorship of the U.S. Speedskating team, but double the length of the deal, through 2022. More from USA Today:

SI WIRE: Report: U.S. speedskaters request to switch suits

"We're doubling down," Plank said. "We will not stick our heads in the sand. We want people to know that when we get knocked down, we get back up bigger, better and stronger.

"This brand was dragged through the mud. There was a lot of conjecture and speculation, but none of it based on fact. ... And I can't do anything about it but bite my lip and hope the facts come out."

The U.S. won four speed skating medals at the 2010 Vancouver Games but it failed to medal for the first time since 1984 this time around. The results didn't improve even after the team reverted to older Under Armour suits midway through the Games.

"In no way, shape or form will we ever point fingers at the athletes," Plank said. "These guys have a ton of things going through their heads. There was no push back from us. We said, whatever will make the athletes more comfortable, we'll do."

ROSENBERG: U.S. speedskating failure is about more than the suit