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NEWSWIRE : Salt Lake City's Welch Unlikely to Get a Deal

September 23, 1999|From Staff and Wire Reports

Salt Lake City's top Olympic bidder is unlikely to get immunity from federal prosecutors in exchange for testimony against International Olympic Committee members.

A source close to Tom Welch, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Wednesday that the former head of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee would consider trading his testimony against IOC officials for immunity.

The source said Welch would cut the deal for his own protection, not because he would admit to any crimes.

Welch and his attorney, Tom Schaffer, have not pitched an immunity deal to the Justice Department, nor have they been contacted by federal prosecutors or the FBI during the 10-month investigation.

A Justice Department source, also speaking Wednesday on condition of anonymity, said department officials have no intention of giving immunity to Welch, who is considered the chief target of a federal grand jury probe.

Schaffer was traveling and didn't return phone messages relayed by his secretary.

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The IOC expressed a wait-and-see attitude to a request for its president to testify at a congressional hearing on Atlanta's tainted bid for the 1996 Summer Games. A top IOC executive, meanwhile, accused U.S. officials of making "self-serving" accusations and of ignoring the "massive reform" undertaken by the Olympic organization. Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said Tuesday he will ask IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch to appear at hearings next month investigating the "culture of corruption" surrounding Atlanta's winning bid. He said he would subpoena Samaranch if he declines to testify voluntarily. . . . The U.S. Olympic Committee wants drug and urine samples from the Sydney and Salt Lake City Games preserved in the event better drug-testing methods become available in the future, Olympic officials said. . . . The Olympics need year-round, independent drug testing and tougher sanctions if the Games are ever to be free from doping, U.S. drug chief Barry McCaffrey said.

Miscellany

Ronald Cerritos scored the game winner early in the second half with his team-record 14th goal and the San Jose Clash defeated the New York-New Jersey MetroStars, 2-1, in a Major League Soccer game before 7,215 at East Rutherford, N.J. . . . French winger Ibrahim Ba drew a four-game suspension for head-butting an opponent during a Serie A soccer match because his foul was caught on TV. It was the first time the league has disciplined a player based only on evidence from a replay. Suspensions normally are handed down for fouls called during a game. Neither the referee nor the linesmen for Saturday's game, in which Ba's Perugia defeated Cagliari, 3-0, said anything to the player for his attack on Fabio Macellari. Ba went up to Macellari and slammed his forehead into the defender's face in retaliation for an elbow Macellari had thrown seconds earlier. . . . Rivaldo of Brazil scored two goals as Barcelona kept its Champions League record perfect with a 4-2 victory over Fiorentina of Italy.

Monique Viele's first appearance on the WTA Tour didn't last long. The 14-year-old from West Palm Beach, Fla., lost to fellow American Jane Chi, 6-3, 6-1, in the first round of the Toyota Princess Cup at Tokyo. After challenging the WTA Tour rule barring players 14 and under from playing in its events, Viele received a wild card into the tournament. The organization amended its rule in June to allow 14-year-olds to receive one wild card into WTA Tour events. . . . Els Callens of Belgium, who got into the Seat Open when Serena Williams pulled out, won her first match, saving four set points in the opening set before beating Barbara Schwartz of Austria, 7-6 (8-6), 6-3, and reaching the quarterfinals at Luxembourg.

Besides mastering a triple-triple jump combination this autumn, two-time world figure skating champion and college freshman Michelle Kwan will have to learn how to juggle. The 1998 Olympic silver medalist announced that she will vie for her fourth Skate America crown at Colorado Springs, Colo., next month, only four weeks after checking into her dorm and beginning classes at UCLA. The next week, in early November, Kwan will catch a few more classes before competing in Skate Canada at Saint John, Canada.

A son of Storm Boot brought a top price of $80,000 during Keeneland's September Yearling Sale at Lexington, Ky. Academy Development bought the chestnut colt out of Assagai's Ex, by Assagai from the McMillin Brothers consignment. . . . Bevo, a top 2-year-old, had surgery to remove a bone chip in his left knee and not only will he be sidelined the rest of year but maybe also for next year's Triple Crown races. The colt suffered the injury while scoring an upset in Sunday's Belmont Futurity.

The Orlando Magic traded the draft rights to rookie Laron Profit to the Washington Wizards for a conditional second-round pick in 2001. . . . The New York Knicks hired Steve Mills as executive vice president of franchise operations.

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