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SYDNEY 2000 / SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES

Notes

September 21, 2000|From Staff and Wire Reports

The IOC is investigating allegations that tickets provided to some national Olympic committees are being resold to scalpers.

Francois Carrard, director general of the International Olympic Committee, acknowledged today that such sales might have happened without the direct knowledge of the national panels.

"We have to investigate. We have to know the facts," Carrard said.

In today's edition, the Sydney Morning Herald said some Olympic committees from rich nations, including the United States, Switzerland, Italy, Venezuela and Russia, were guilty of the practice.

The U.S. Olympic Committee said it was abiding by the rules but could not control what happens with tickets once it distributes them.

*

Less than four days after leaving to be with his dying wife in Spain, International Olympic Committee President Juan Antonio Samaranch returned Wednesday for the remainder of the Olympics.

"I'm very pleased to be back," he said. "I felt I had the responsibility to return as soon as I could. I'm looking forward to seeing some competition."

Samaranch, attending his last games as IOC president, left Sydney the morning after presiding over Friday's opening ceremony and flew to Barcelona to be at the bedside of his wife, Maria Teresa.

But Mrs. Samaranch, who had been reportedly suffering from cancer, died shortly before her husband arrived.

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Canada's Donovan Bailey, who set a world record while winning the 1996 gold medal in the 100 meters, is battling flu-like symptoms but still hopes to begin defense of his title.

"I just spoke with Donovan a few minutes ago. He's congested, he's not feeling well," Bailey's agent, Ray Flynn, said. "He's not feeling 100% by any means. He's got flu-like symptoms."

But Flynn said Bailey, who got sick last weekend at the Canadian team's training center, was able to work out Wednesday and planned to work out again today, and emphasized "he has not withdrawn" from the 100. The first round of the men's 100 is tonight.

Bailey said Wednesday that he could barely jog without feeling exhausted.

"I'm very tired. I can't go 15 or 20 meters. I've been in bed for two days," he said. "Psychologically I'm very strong. But it's the physical thing I have to deal with."

Bailey won the 100 in 9.84 seconds at the Atlanta Games. The world record has been lowered since then, and now is held by Maurice Greene at 9.79 seconds.

*

Security at Sydney's Olympic village will not be stepped up despite a prisoner escape drama near the site, New South Wales Police Commissioner Peter Ryan said.

Two prisoners who commandeered a vehicle carrying a South Korean Olympic official with three Games volunteers from Australia's Korean community are still on the run.

Ryan, who is in charge of all security for the Games, played down the breach as "an unfortunate incident."

"It was two prisoners escaping from jail. It happens not irregularly," he told reporters.

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Thieves have taken more than $55,000 worth of souvenirs from the main Olympic store in less than a week.

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