OTOH, it may very well be that some judge or team leader tried to give Harding advice like that on their own initiative and in an unofficial capacity. I've heard of other such instances of crazy "advice" from judges -- for instance, Dan Hollander has said that a judge once told him to get his nose fixed so he wouldn't look so Jewish. The difference is that Dan realized that the judge had no business giving him "advice" like that, whereas Harding (assuming this ever happened at all) merely seized on it as another excuse for screwing up her own life.
Which brings me to the point that someone else made here, that the USFSA ought to have intervened earlier to give Harding better guidance about how to be a decent human being than she was getting from her mother. Well, again, this isn't the sort of thing that the USFSA, as an organization, has ever done, and you can't have it both ways -- that they ought to have intervened in her home life, or that they had no business trying to intervene. Nowadays the USFSA's official policy is that anyone who has reason to suspect child abuse must report it to the local law enforcement and/or child welfare agencies rather than trying to resolve the situation themselves or expect the USFSA to do so.