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The Inside Track | NEWSWIRE

U.S. Is Comfortable With Security for Athens Games

October 01, 2003|From Staff and Wire Reports

The State Department, rejecting a report that Greece is having problems creating a secure environment for the 2004 Olympics, said Tuesday that Greece has the "will and the resources" to ensure the games are successful.

The Washington Post, citing intelligence reports, reported Saturday that security is much more porous than the Greek and United States governments are willing to acknowledge.

It said one report highlighted a security lapse in which a test agent disguised as a pregnant woman carried a mock bomb through a checkpoint.

"The United States has offered the expertise and resources of several of our agencies to Greece in order to ensure Olympic security," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said.

Ambassador Cofer Black, U.S. coordinator for counterterrorism, is in Greece discussing ways to enhance Olympic security, Boucher said.

The U.S. is providing equipment, policy workshops and security training for the Greeks.

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The U.S. baseball team will open against Colombia on Oct. 30 in the Americas tournament, a qualifying event in Panama for the 2004 Athens Olympics.

The U.S. is in Group B with the Bahamas, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Panama and Puerto Rico. In Group A are Aruba, Canada, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Venezuela.

The top two teams from the 12-day tournament earn berths to the eight-team Olympic tournament.

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Motor Racing

NASCAR car owner Richard Childress will not renew the contract of driver Steve Park at the end of the season.

Park has been driving the No. 30 Chevrolet since May, when he parted ways with Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Childress needed a driver after firing Jeff Green.

Since joining RCR before the Coca-Cola 600 in May, Park has two top-10 finishes and one pole.

He has finished 30th or worse in five of the 17 races he has run for Childress.

Doctors discovered a crack in the left wrist of NASCAR driver Larry Foyt, but the Winston Cup rookie plans to race Sunday at Kansas Speedway. Foyt suffered the injury Sunday at Talladega.

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Jurisprudence

A lawyer for Mike Tyson sought the dismissal of misdemeanor assault charges filed against the former boxing heavyweight champion after a brawl with two men June 21 outside a hotel in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Lawyer Mel Sachs and prosecutors will trade written arguments before a Nov. 24 hearing. Tyson will not be required to attend. He did not speak during a brief appearance in state Supreme Court in Brooklyn.

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Hockey

Goalie Curtis Joseph, who was a prize free-agent signing a year ago but became expendable when Dominik Hasek ended his retirement, was left off the Detroit Red Wings' protected list for the NHL's waiver draft Friday.

Any team that drafts Joseph would have to pay his entire $8-million salary.

Former No. 1 draft pick Alexandre Daigle is getting yet another chance, this time with the Minnesota Wild, which signed the forward to a one-year deal.

Daigle, 28, had four goals and three assists in 33 games with Pittsburgh last season. The 6-foot, 200-pound forward has 104 goals in his eight-year NHL career. His best season was in 1996-97 when he had 26 goals and 25 assists for the Senators.

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Miscellany

Atlantic Coast Conference athletic directors met for about six hours at Charlottesville, Va., and said they focused on trying to work out details of scheduling for an 11-team conference and that expansion was never discussed.

The conference will add Miami and Virginia Tech next season and is trying to determine the best way to set up its schedules for basketball, football and Olympic sports.

Athletic directors also dismissed rumors that Notre Dame and Boston College were being targeted as a possible 12th ACC team.

Sacramento of the WNBA hired John Whisenant as coach for the next two seasons.

A 12-year-old girl has died after collapsing and going into cardiac arrest at a track meet.

Merridy Stilwell of Lake Stevens (Wash.) Middle School had run about three-quarters of a mile Monday when she became ill.

Stilwell died later at a hospital. The cause of death was not immediately known.

Two-time Olympian and former U.S. downhill ski champion Chad Fleischer, 31, retired.

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