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Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published August 30, 2002

IOC releases report on sports program

Baseball, softball and modern pentathlon have three months to save their sports from being dropped from the Olympics. Ballroom dancing, surfing and bowling can forget trying to get into the Games.

The International Olympic Committee executive board discussed an internal report Thursday proposing the biggest shakeup in the sports program of the Summer Games.

The program commission recommends eliminating baseball, citing the absence of top players, the sport's popularity being restricted to certain continents and high venue construction costs; softball, saying it lacked global popularity and had high venue construction costs; and modern pentathlon, saying it lacked global participation.

The report proposes adding golf and rugby -- on condition that the sports' top athletes take part.

The executive board put off a decision until its next meeting in late November in Mexico City. The board will then make recommendations to the full IOC session, meeting Nov. 26-29. The revised program would go into effect at the 2008 Games.

IOC president Jacques Rogge said the program would be kept at 28 sports -- the current level.

The report also recommended:

-- Exclusion of either Greco-Roman or freestyle wrestling, citing "low public and media comprehension of differences between the two disciplines."

-- Boxing remain but its status be reviewed because of image problems; women not be considered for inclusion.

-- Elimination of canoe-kayak slalom; three-day event in equestrian; race walking; keelboat class in sailing; synchronized swimming team event; lightweight rowing; badminton mixed doubles, and a reduction in athletes and events in shooting.

COLLEGES: Guard Marcus Barnes who started 30 of Miami's 32 games, averaging 12.3 points, was kicked off the team for an unspecified violation of team rules.

HOCKEY: The St. Pete Parrots of the Atlantic Coast Hockey League signed four players: goalie Ray Fraser, 21, a second-year pro who played in the United Hockey League last year; center Kevin Karlander, 26, a third-year pro from the University of Vermont; Matt Wargo, 20, a 6-foot-5, 235-pound wing/defenseman, and defenseman Andrew Dickson, 24, a third-year pro who played two seasons in the Central Hockey League.

SWIMMING: The United States won five golds and set a world record in the men's 4x100-meter medley relay at the Pan Pacific meet in Yokohama, Japan. Aaron Peirsol, Brendan Hansen, Michael Phelps and Jason Lezak finished in 3:33.48, .25 seconds ahead of the 2000 U.S. Olympic team. Natalie Coughlin won the 100 free. Ian Crocker won the 100 butterfly. Margaret Hoelzer won the 200 backstroke, and Phelps won the 200 individual medley.

RUNNING: Steeplechase world-record holder Brahim Boulami tested positive for EPO on the eve of breaking the mark two weeks ago. The results of a second test have not been determined.

OBITUARY: Sylvio de Magalhaes Padilha, a Brazilian and former member of the IOC, died. He was 93.

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