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Sports digest

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 6, 2001

IOC won't restore medal to swimmer

The International Olympic Committee refused Monday to offer special recognition to Rick DeMont, the former American swimmer who was stripped of his gold medal after a positive drug test 29 years ago.

Last week, the U.S. Olympic Committee said it would recognize DeMont at its board meeting in April in a gesture intended to clear his name and acknowledge that he was not a drug cheat.

DeMont, 44, a swimming coach at the University of Arizona, hoped the IOC would consider restoring his gold medal or offer some form of official acknowledgment that he was not an intentional doper. The IOC's legal commission ruled out any action.

DeMont could not reached for comment, but his lawyer, David Ulich, said favorable comment from the IOC "really would have been icing on the cake."

Canadian IOC member Dick Pound, head of the World Anti-Doping Agency, said he raised the issue of recognizing DeMont at the meeting but found no support.

MORE OLYMPICS: Salt Lake City organizing chief Mitt Romney failed to gain final IOC approval of plans for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2002 Games. ... NBC is not asking Athens 2004 organizers to change the starting times of events so they can be shown in prime time in the United States, senior NBC vice president and IOC member Alex Gilady said. Gilady denied that the network was pressuring Greek organizers to change the timetables to fit its programming.

COACH KILLED: Alois Lipburger, coach of Austria's ski jumping team, was killed in a car accident Sunday returning home from a World Cup event in Germany.

BOMB FOUND: A large bomb packed with nails was found outside the house of world wrestling champion Sagid Murtazaliev near breakaway Chechnya, police said. The device was in a car trunk near the home in Kizlyar.

GOLF: The majestic pine on the 18th hole at Pebble Beach, Calif., has succumbed to pitch canker disease, which can claim a tree in less than six months. The 80-foot tree long has served as a visual landmark and obstacle for golfers playing the 535-yard par-5 hole.

BASEBALL: Erubiel Durazo hit a two-run homer and Remigio Diaz a three-run shot as Mexico beat Venezuela 8-4 to force a four-way tie for first in the Caribbean Series in Culiacan, Mexico. Mario Encarnacion hit a run-scoring single in the ninth inning as the Dominican Republic rallied for a 5-4 victory over Puerto Rico.

AUTOS: Michelin is returning to Formula One after 17 years and will provide tires for the Williams, Benetton, Jaguar and Prost teams.

WINTER SPORTS: Kjetil-Andre Aamodt of Norway held a narrow lead after the two slalom runs of the combined event, and compatriot Lasse Kjus failed to equal a world championship record as poor weather forced a schedule shuffling in St. Anton, Austria. The women's downhill remains set for today, but the men's downhill was moved to Wednesday morning.

COLLEGES: Tennessee professor Linda Bensel-Meyers petitioned the Faculty Senate to take a bigger part in investigating and monitoring academic fraud in the athletics department. ... Stanford named Creighton's Bret Simon men's soccer coach, choosing him over former U.S. national team coach Steve Sampson.

HIGH SCHOOLS: Detroit Murray-Wright football coach Joel Blankenship was suspended after Omi Judkins, 15, accused him of using a wooden paddle to punish him for poor grades.

TRACK: Mike Dudley of Bend, Ore., and Irina Kazakova of France were runaway winners in the Las Vegas Marathon.

SOCCER: Former England coach Glenn Hoddle would like to manage at the international level again, possibly for the U.S. team. Hoddle was fired by England in 1999 over his religious view that disabled people were being punished for sins of a previous life.

CRICKET: A proposed tournament aimed at aiding India's earthquake victims was called off because the Asian Cricket Foundation did not receive confirmation from the Indian and Pakistani boards.

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