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By Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 24, 2000


Plan hatched to get rid of giant moths

SYDNEY, Australia -- Begone, bogongs.

Olympic organizers, working with Australian scientists and wildlife officials, said Saturday they will douse the lights in the 110,000-seat Olympic stadium to try to shoo away unwanted, ugly, bird-sized bogong moths.

So starting Saturday night, the arena's bright lights will be turned off at midnight.

Reducing the lighting will encourage the moths to continue on their migration, scientist Rob Floyd said.

Thousands of the harmless moths were attracted to the stadium's floodlights during Friday night's track and field competition. Saturday, competitors in the women's 100-meter semifinals could be seen swatting moths moments before the races began.

The moths are on their annual spring migration to the Snowy Mountains on the Victoria-New South Wales border. But they're being attracted to the stadium by the bright lights.

DRUG SCANDAL INVESTIGATION: The Bulgarian government will investigate a doping scandal that led to the expulsion of the country's weightlifting team from the Olympics.

Weightlifting coach Ivan Abadzhiev assumed responsibility for his team's expulsion after three athletes tested positive for a banned weight-losing substance. He did not say if he would quit.

Weightlifting is perhaps second to soccer in popularity in Bulgaria. The team's expulsion was front-page news and a prime topic among average citizens.

Newspapers and citizens in Sofia, Bulgaria, seemed to suspect foul play to the detriment of their acclaimed athletes.

The Demokratsiya daily bannered its report: "The Whole World Against Bulgaria," and the Trud trade union newspaper saw a "mystery" surrounding the scandal.

MORE DRUGS: Andris Reinholds of Latvia was kicked out of the Olympics after testing positive for the steroid nandrolone. Reinholds, who finished ninth in the men's single sculls, tested positive during a random test during competition last week. Previously, three Bulgarian weightlifters and a Belarussian hammer thrower were expelled for positive tests.

Meanwhile, the Bulgarian government will investigate the doping scandal that led to the country's weightlifting team being thrown out of the Games.

Coach Ivan Abadzhiev assumed responsibility for the expulsion after the three lifters tested positive for a banned weight-losing substance. He did not say if he would quit.

The expulsion was front-page news and a prime topic among citizens. Newspapers and citizens in Sofia, Bulgaria, seemed to suspect foul play. The Demokratsiya daily bannered its report: "The Whole World Against Bulgaria," and the Trud trade union newspaper saw a "mystery" surrounding the scandal.

MILLER FEELING BETTER: Karen Dennis, coach of the U.S. women's track team, is optimistic Inger Miller may be able to run in the 200 meters and 4x100 relay.

Dennis said Miller has received aggressive therapy for the hamstring strain that forced her to withdraw from the 100 meters last week. "Inger tells me she's feeling better, and the trainers tell me she's not as tender as before," Dennis said. "I feel better every day about Inger."

UGANDAN ARRESTED Adelaide police arrested a 22-year-old athlete from Uganda sought in connection with the sexual assault of a 17-year-old girl.

Investigators will fly to the South Australian state capital, 685 miles southwest of Sydney, to interview the man, New South Wales police said. Police announced Friday that a warrant had been issued for the athlete's arrest. A police statement said an assault occurred in Wednesday's early hours at a western Sydney suburb adjoining the main Olympic site. No further details were released.

HALL'S FATHER ILL: U.S. swimmer Gary Hall Jr. didn't know until well after his bronze medal-winning performance in the 100-meter freestyle that his father had been hospitalized.

Gary Hall Sr. was hospitalized in Sydney with endotoxin shock that he said resulted from a virus.

His wife, Mary, had called for help Wednesday when he complained of heart palpitations and fatigue while they were on a cruise ship in Sydney Harbor.

The younger Hall wasn't told of his father's situation until Friday, before the heats for the 50 freestyle. He got the bronze in the 100 freestyle Wednesday without knowing of the problem.

"It was important to me that he wasn't distracted from what he is here to do," said the elder Hall, a swimmer who won silver and bronze medals at the 1968, '72 and '76 Olympics.

CELEBRATION IN BARBADOS: Sprinter Obadele Thompson's bronze medal in the 100 meters gave Barbados its first Olympic medal and touched off a celebration on the Caribbean island.

"We won bronze!" islanders yelled from their houses and cars shortly after Thompson took third place Saturday behind gold medalist Maurice Greene of the United States and Ato Boldon of the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago.

Construction company owner Charles Williams said his C.O. Williams Construction would give the medalist a 10,000-square-foot plot of land in an exclusive housing area as a reward.

Thompson, 24, is the first to win an Olympic medal for Barbados since the island established an Olympic team after independence from Britain in the 1960s.

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