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THE INSIDE TRACK | Newswire

Embattled IOC Member Coles Urged to Step Down

May 10, 1999|From Staff and Wire Reports

Australia's sports minister has urged embattled International Olympic Committee member Phil Coles to resign from the Sydney Games board.

Coles was expected to meet with fellow Australian IOC member Kevan Gosper today in Sydney, with reports suggesting that Gosper was carrying a request from IOC chief Juan Antonio Samaranch that Coles quit.

Sports Minister Jackie Kelly added her voice to a chorus of Coles' critics, saying Coles had been urged by every "sportsman, sports coach, sportswoman and sports administrator to go."

Coles, who has stood aside from the SOCOG board pending several IOC investigations, said he would not be talked into quitting by Gosper.

The IOC announced last week it had deferred until June a decision on an investigation into whether Coles accepted expensive jewelry from a businessman associated with Athens' failed 1996 bid.

The IOC earlier had reprimanded Coles for accepting excessive hospitality and travel from the successful 2002 Salt Lake City bid team and warned him that any further indiscretion would result in expulsion.

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Former President George Bush sent personal letters to each IOC member just before the final vote for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, according to records released by bid organizers.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Sunday the documents were in nine boxes of Olympic records released by the Georgia Amateur Athletics Foundation. A bid team memo said Bush's message was "very effective."

Basketball

George Shinn has started over in a search for a partner to share ownership of the Charlotte Hornets after Michael Jordan broke off negotiations with Shinn because of a disagreement over Jordan's control over basketball operations.

"Since the discussions between Michael and I were announced, I have received numerous inquiries from others who are interested in the possibility of a partnership in the Hornets," Shinn said in a statement released Saturday night. "Out of respect for Michael and the discussions that we were conducting, I did not follow up on any of those inquiries.

"At this point I plan to review those opportunities and proceed accordingly."

Shinn did not discuss any names, but at least one has been mentioned: Robert Johnson, chief executive officer of Black Entertainment Television, has said he had no interest in becoming a partner but would like to buy the team outright, something Jordan said Friday he had offered to do.

South Korea will represent Asia in the Sydney Olympics after beating Japan, 68-65, and winning the 18th Asian women's basketball championships at Kusanagi, Japan.

Miscellany

For the third consecutive year, the United States failed to reach the semifinals of the world hockey championships.

The Americans were eliminated in the second round after a 4-1 loss to Canada at Hamar, Norway. It was Canada's fifth consecutive victory over the United States in a major international tournament since 1996.

The Americans will play Switzerland today in an attempt to better their world ranking.

Adam Graves of the New York Rangers and Claude Lapointe of the New York Islanders had a goal and an assist apiece for Canada, which moved into a first-place tie in Pool E with Finland. The Finns advanced with a 5-1 win over Switzerland.

The semifinals are Wednesday in Lillehammer, with Canada and Finland the only two to qualify so far.

Mike Mottau scored for the United States, which is tied for third in its group with Switzerland. The Americans can't finish worse than eighth, an improvement from last year's 12th-place finish that forced them into a qualifying tournament this year.

Michael Nunn knocked down William Guthrie five times before earning a sixth-round technical knockout victory at Minot, N.D.

Despite diving in pain, Huang Qiang surprised Russia's reigning Olympic platform champion, Dmitri Sautin, to complete a Chinese sweep in the USA Diving Grand Prix at Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Fu Mingxia of China, the defending Olympic champion on the three-meter board, coasted to a gold medal in her favorite event, outpointing Russia's Irina Lashko, a four-time three-meter champion, 541.05 to 522.96. Anna Lindberg of Sweden took the bronze.

Juan Manuel Marquez of Mexico will defend his NABO featherweight championship tonight against Wilfredo Vargas of Puerto Rico at the Forum. The 12-round bout will be the eighth defense for Marquez, who won the title Feb. 3, 1997, by stopping Cedric Mingo of Anaheim in the 10th round. Vargas, 28, is 23-11 with 18 knockouts and has three failed attempts at winning WBO championships.

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