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The Inside Track | NEWSWIRE

Gold Nuggets Evidence in Olympic Bribery Case

November 10, 2001|From Staff and Wire Reports

A cache of gold jewelry handcrafted a decade ago for International Olympic Committee members--but never given to them--caught the attention Friday of federal prosecutors and lawyers for the defendants in the Olympic bribery case.

The 192 gold nuggets, each hanging from a gold chain, were discovered in a desk drawer, said Salt Lake's chief Olympic organizer Mitt Romney, who planned to auction them to raise $48,000 or more for the 2002 Winter Games.

Those plans were put on hold Friday when defense lawyers demanded the Salt Lake Organizing Committee preserve them as evidence, SLOC spokeswoman Caroline Shaw said.

The lawyers said the jewelry was commissioned by former bid chairman and mining executive Frank Joklik and was proof that others besides indicted bid executives Tom Welch and Dave Johnson dealt in lavish gifts for IOC members.

Joklik, who didn't return calls seeking comment, has not been charged with any crime.

Justice Department prosecutor Richard Wiedis, meanwhile, said Friday he wanted to know why the bid jewelry wasn't handed over two years ago under government subpoena and why and how they were made.

The gold nuggets, now worth $250 each, were cut irregularly to resemble panned gold. They were made for IOC members and taken to Birmingham, England, during the bid for the 1998 Winter Olympics. Salt Lake lost those Games to Nagano, Japan.

Describing the Olympics' current EPO test as "cumbersome," the World Anti-Doping Agency in Lausanne, Switzerland, said it will fund research to develop a simpler, more effective system.

The IOC said Wednesday it was sticking with a combined blood and urine test for EPO, the banned endurance-boosting hormone, at the Feb. 8-24 Salt Lake City Games.

After a meeting with medical experts, the IOC decided against switching to a stand-alone urine test developed by French scientists.

WADA, an independent body set up by the IOC two years ago to coordinate drug testing worldwide, said it will press ahead to find an "effective EPO test that is easier to conduct."


Nadia Petrova and Elena Dementieva put Russia into the finals of the Fed Cup with singles victories over France at Madrid.

The Russians, seeking their first Fed Cup title, will face the winner of today's matches between Spain and Belgium in the final Sunday.

Petrova defeated Sandrine Testud, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-4, and Dementieva defeated Amelie Mauresmo, 6-3, 0-6, 6-4. The two singles victories on indoor clay gave Russia a 3-0 record in Pool A play after earlier victories over the Czech Republic and Argentina.

Belgium and Spain also won their matches to push their Fed Cup round-robin records to 2-0 in Pool B. Belgium defeated Australia, 3-0, and Spain handled Germany, 2-1.


English players voted overwhelmingly in favor of striking in a dispute over TV revenue, setting the stage for a possible walkout this month. The union said the Premier League asked to resume negotiations Monday.

Ghana's soccer authority denied accusations that the national team accepted a bribe to throw the game that secured Nigeria's place in the 2002 World Cup.

The Ghana Football Authority's executive council conceded that the team accepted $25,000 from Nigerian officials afterward, but that the money was a gift that did not influence in any way the outcome of the match.

Australian forward Julie Murray, who helped lead the San Jose CyberRays to the WUSA championship in their first year, announced her retirement.


Led by Ray Evernham's duo of Bill Elliott and Casey Atwood, Dodges were overwhelming in qualifying for the Pennzoil Freedom 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Elliott led a sweep of the top three spots in the 43-car field with a fast lap of 155.226 mph. Rookie Atwood, who won his first career pole last month in Phoenix, was second at 154.688, followed by John Andretti at 154.268.

Jeff Green won the pole for the Busch Series' season-ending GNC Live Well 300 today, turning a lap at 150.939 mph on Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Defending champions Brad Faxon and Scott McCarron combined for an eight-under-par 64 to take the first-round lead in the Franklin Templeton Shootout at Naples, Fla.

David Duval had four birdies on the first five holes and took a two-stroke lead at 10-under 132 after the second round of the Dunlop Phoenix at Miyazaki, Japan.

Twelve-year-olds Mina Harigae of Monterey and Sydney Burlison of Salinas advanced to today's semifinal matches of the California Women's Amateur golf championship at Carmel.

Heavyweight boxer Ike Ibeabuchi faces up to 30 years in prison in a plea bargain that lets him avoid trial on charges he tried to rape a woman in Las Vegas in 1999.

Former figure skating world champion Maria Butyrskaya of Russia edged American Angela Nikodinov in the women's short program at the Nations Cup at Gelsenkirchen, Germany.

Butyrskaya received marks between 5.4 to 5.7 for the technical portion but excelled in the presentation scores with mostly 5.8s and 5.9s.

Jeff Deardorff had a home run and two other hits as the United States beat South Korea, 11-0, in the World Cup baseball tournament at Taipei, Taiwan.

Swedish cyclist Nicklas Axelsson admitted he used the banned endurance-boosting drug EPO at the World Championships last month in Portugal, where he finished 18th.

The Avengers of the Arena Football League signed receiver/linebacker Chris Jackson to a contract extension through the 2004 season.


Don H. Potts, one of the world's foremost track and field statisticians and historians, has died at 79. See story, Page B19.

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