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Powell faces tests and more tests

August 13, 2008|Philip Hersh; Kevin Baxter; Greg Johnson; Bill Dwyre

A selection of posts from The Times' Ticket to Beijing blog (at

BEIJING -- Jamaica's Asafa Powell, former world record-holder in the 100 meters, thinks the doping control folks are going overboard.

"About two days ago, I got pretty upset, because since I've been here, they have tested me four times, and took blood, a lot of blood," he said at a news conference Tuesday.

"I'm saying that they are taking so much blood that we are going to be very weak for the finals of the 100 meters.

"I'm almost sure I'm going to be tested tomorrow. I don't know about anybody else, but they are really down on my case and teammates Michael Frater and Usain [Bolt, the current world record-holder].

"I accept how important it is. They say that they're doing over 4,000 tests. But, it's just difficult. But hopefully they can catch all those on it and make the Olympics very clean."

-- Philip Hersh

Teeny bikinis

As anyone who has watched any women's beach volleyball can attest, there's not much to the uniforms.

And I'm not talking about the design. I'm talking about the amount of fabric.

But apparently officials with very good eyes detected something amiss with the uniforms that Mexico's Mayra Garcia and Bibiana Candelas intended to use in their first match Sunday because the bathing suits were banned, leaving Garcia and Candelas subject to disqualification.

So Garcia and Candelas -- who lives in Los Angeles, where she played indoor volleyball for USC -- borrowed uniforms from Germany for their first-round loss to Brazil.

According to the Mexican daily El Universal, the uniforms the Mexicans brought had three problems: They were made by Atletica, which is not an approved Olympic sponsor, and the Mexican flag on the front of the top was in the wrong place. And the logo of the Mexican Olympic Committee, also on the top, isn't permitted at all.

On Tuesday they were in blue tops and white shorts, in a victory over Greece.

-- Kevin Baxter

Favre fever

Sports fans are sports fans, regardless, it seems, of the country.

When Brett Favre was traded to the New York Jets last week, football fans bought more than 6,500 Favre jerseys through the website. That shattered the old NFL one-day sales record of 900 set by Tony Romo during a Thanksgiving Day sale.

And, on Tuesday, the NBA reported that Kobe Bryant's jersey remains the most popular NBA apparel in China.

-- Greg Johnson

Big guns

The buses pulled up, as usual, Tuesday morning to the entrance of the Main Press Center.

And then, there it was. The tank. Big as life. Parked right near the entry. Since this wasn't L.A., where you'd just assume it was a movie prop, it got your attention real fast.

"I'm not privy to who deployed this, but we must be protective," Wang Wei of the Beijing Olympic organizing committee told reporters. "I don't think this is surprising in Beijing."

Wang added: "They should not create an inconvenience for the media."

It hadn't. Just a big photo op.

-- Bill Dwyre

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