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Olympics briefs

By Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 3, 2000


Supreme Court gets wrestling case

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Olympic Committee went to the Supreme Court on Saturday in a bid to keep Greco-Roman wrestler Matt Lindland off the American team.

The committee asked Justice John Paul Stevens to allow Keith Sieracki to remain on the team instead of Lindland. Stevens, who handles Chicago-based cases when the court is not in session, is not expected to act on the request before Tuesday.

The Sydney Games begin Sept. 15.

Lindland lost a 2-1 referee's decision to Sieracki at the Olympic trials in June. He said he was illegally tripped and took the case to arbitration. The arbitrator ordered a rematch, and Lindland beat Sieracki 8-0.

The USOC was reluctant to make the roster switch, so Lindland asked the courts to intervene. U.S. District Judge James B. Zagel ordered the USOC to contact the International Olympic Committee and tell it to change the U.S. roster to give Lindland the spot.

IOC officials said last week they would honor Zagel's order.

Friday, a three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago upheld Lindland's spot on the team.

BASEBALL: In San Diego, the American team held its only workout in the United States before leaving several hours later for Australia.

"The challenge is, we've got to find out everything we can about those ballplayers in six games," manager Tommy Lasorda said, referring to six exhibition games the team will play on Australia's Gold Coast from Thursday-Sept. 12.

With major-leaguers and many top farm-team players unavailable, a collection of up-and-coming minor-leaguers and journeymen will represent the United States in the first Games to allow pros to compete.

The team has four Devil Rays minor-leaguers: Pat Borders, Brent Abernathy, Bobby Seay and Matt White.

BASKETBALL: Vince Carter unleashed a series of highlight-reel dunks in the second half to answer an array of spectacular plays by a team of collegians as the U.S. men's team won its second exhibition game 111-74 over the U.S. select team at Honolulu. Carter didn't miss a shot as he led the U.S. team in scoring for the second straight game. Jason Richardson of Michigan State led the college team with 20 points. ... Fresh from helping the Houston Comets win their fourth straight WNBA title, Sheryl Swoopes joined the U.S. women's team for its game with Brazil and led the Americans to a 75-53 victory at Honolulu. Swoopes, the WNBA's regular-season MVP, had 18 points and six rebounds. Brazil, runner-up to the United States at the 1996 Olympics, was led by Janeth Arcain's 14 points.

EQUESTRIAN: British three-day event rider Rodney Powell had surgery on a broken ankle after falling from his horse, Flintstone, during training in Sydney. He will miss the Games.

He will be replaced by Kristina Gifford on The Gangster.

GYMNASTICS: Morgan White did only one event at the U.S. women team's only exhibition before the Olympics because of injury concerns.

White, bothered by a sprained left foot since last month's trials, sat out the beam, vault and floor exercise in San Marcos, Texas. She said she plans to perform in the Games.

"We've been resting it for this past week, and once I get to Australia, I'll be ready to go," White said. "It's already feeling much better."

White's coach, Mary Lee Tracy, is confident she will be ready for the Games. And she said the team looked strong after some practices raised concerns.

"Some of the things didn't seem like they were all getting there, and then tonight, they put it all together," she said.

TRACK AND FIELD: Liu Yunfeng, considered a medal contender in the men's 20-kilometer walk, was removed from China's team after testing positive for an unidentified banned substance. He tested positive July 13. Yunfeng's fate hinges on the result of tests on a second sample.

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