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December 10, 1987

Joe Vigil, the 1988 U.S. Olympic men's distance coach who had been embroiled in controversy over published racist statements attributed to him, was given full endorsement by the committee that selected him for the job.

The International Competition Committee of The Athletics Congress, the national governing body for track and field, unanimously approved a motion "reaffirming his status as Olympic coach."

Vigil had come under fire after a story in the November issue of City Sports magazine had quoted him as saying that minorities lack the determination for distance running.

Vigil, coach at Adams State in Colorado for nearly 23 years, presented his case to the ICC, after a request for an investigation by Anita DeFrantz, a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee.

Vigil said that when he was talking about minorities with the reporter who interviewed him over the phone--another writer wrote the story--he was not using the word minority as "all-encompassing."

"I emphatically disagree I said what the article stated," he said. "I did not say any of that. Not the way it was quoted in the article."

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