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In brief

IOC okays retests for THG

By Wire services
Published December 5, 2003

The IOC gave the go-ahead Thursday to retest drug samples from the Salt Lake City Olympics for the steroid THG.

The executive board approved the plan in Lausanne, Switzerland, after determining there were no legal or scientific obstacles to rescreening frozen samples from the 2002 Winter Games.

"The IOC does not want to leave any stone unturned in the fight against doping," spokeswoman Giselle Davies said.

Patrick Schamasch, medical director of the International Olympic Committee, said it was not known how many of the 600 samples taken in Salt Lake City would be retested or when the process would begin. The samples are stored at the Olympic doping control laboratory at UCLA.

The executive board also ruled out punishing governments that fail to pay their annual dues to the World Anti-Doping Agency.

The IOC rejected proposals to penalize nonpaying countries, including the United States, by banning their national flags and anthems from ceremonies at next summer's Athens Games. The board decided such measures would unfairly punish athletes.

BRIBERY SCANDAL: The Justice Department wrapped up its case in the bribery trial of two men accused of plying IOC delegates with $1-million in cash, gifts and favors to win Salt Lake City's bid to host the 2002 Winter Games. Tom Welch, who led the Olympic bid effort, and his deputy Dave Johnson were charged in a 15-count federal indictment with bribery racketeering, fraud and conspiracy.

SOCCER: The United States will play Panama, Canada and Honduras in February in the final round of qualifying. The Group A games, which are limited to Under-23 teams, will be in Guadalajara, Mexico.

SOCCER: Oceania to have playoff

The team that finishes fourth in the United States' World Cup qualifying region will meet Asia's fifth-place team in a playoff for a berth in the 2006 tournament.

The winner of the Oceania region will play the fifth-place team from South America in the other playoff, FIFA's executive committee announced.

The Oceania region has been represented at the World Cup twice, by Australia in 1974 and New Zealand in 1982.

FIFA also said its executive committee will vote on the site of the 2010 World Cup when it meets May 15 in Zurich, Switzerland, and ruled out co-hosts. South Africa is considered the favorite.

DRUG PROBLEM: FIFA president Sepp Blatter thinks soccer has a growing problem with the use of banned drugs. "I thought our game was clean but it's not clean," he said after a meeting of FIFA's executive committee in Frankfurt, Germany. "The situation in doping has changed."

U20: Australia upset Brazil 3-2 to advance to the second round of the FIFA World Youth Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Spain and Slovakia also clinched spots in the final 16 of the tournament for Under-20 teams.

MLS: The Dallas Burn hired Colin Clarke as coach, removing the interim tag he had the final six games of the season.

EXHIBITION: Denmark will play the United States on Jan. 18 in Carson, Calif.

ET CETERA

SKIING: Hermann Maier paced a World Cup downhill training run in Beaver Creek, Colo. another step in his remarkable comeback from a severe leg injury. The Austrian star was timed in 1 minute, 41.14 seconds on the demanding Birds of Prey course, beating Norway's Bjarne Solbakken (1:41.23). Maier, a double Olympic gold medalist and three-time World Cup overall champion, missed almost two seasons after a 2001 motorcycle accident in which he nearly lost his right leg.

TRACK: USA Track & Field chief executive Craig Masback presented a zero-tolerance drug testing plan, urging federation members to approve a lifetime ban for steroid cheaters for the good of the sport.

BOXING: Vitali Klitschko weighed in at 250 pounds for his heavyweight fight with Kirk Johnson, who was a career-high 260 pounds. The bout is Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.

[Last modified December 5, 2003, 01:34:13]


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