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Roundup : Organizers Admit They Violated Some of the Rules

July 10, 1986|From Times Wire Services

A Soviet sports official admitted Wednesday that organizers of the track and field competition in the Goodwill Games at Moscow have violated major international rules in staging some events.

His comments followed accusations by the United States team that last-minute changes, without explanation, were being made in some races. The Americans also argued that in races where two-section finals were held, the top Soviet athletes were being split up, instead of running against the Americans, as the U.S. officials say was agreed upon.

The official, Levan Sanadedze, chairman of the Soviet department of track and field and the director of the games' competition, said the changes were necessitated by late arrivals from a grand prix meet Monday night at Helsinki, Finland.

"Of course, it was a fairly impromptu decision," Sanadedze said through an interpreter, referring to the late changes. "Since these are the Goodwill Games, and they are being held in an atmosphere of good will and cooperation, we decided to violate some of the rules.

"We decided to meet them halfway and extend the number of participants. This is in accordance with rules and regulations (of the Goodwill Games)."

Events that caused the controversies were races that were run in two-section or three-section finals, including the men's 1,500 meters, 110-meter high hurdles, 3,000-meter steeplechase, 800 meters, 200 meters and 400 meters, and the women's 200 meters.

Sanadedze said that in the 1,500, "We prepared the participants according to our regulations and basic principles."

In this case, however, a Soviet who had been switched to the first section won the gold medal since that section turned out be be faster than the second section, in which the runners ran a tactical race.

Steve Scott, the veteran American distance runner who finished second in the second section of the 1,500 but had to settle for the bronze medal, said he did not even know a first section had been held until after his race.

Elsewhere, a fifth world record was added to the list at the games, this one in cycling, as a Soviet squad broke the mark for the 4-kilometer (2.4-mile) team pursuit.

The team of Vyacheslav Yekimov, Sergei Khmelinin, Alexander Krasnov and Vasily Shpundov was clocked in 4 minutes 12.830 seconds. The old mark of 4:14.264 also was set by a Soviet team.

At the end of the sixth day, the Soviet Union had 35 gold medals and 112 overall, to 30 golds and a total of 85 for the United States. East Germany was a distant third with 4 golds and 15 total medals.

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