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Sunday, September 17, 2000
Australian athlete turned back due to pass problem

 SYDNEY, Australia (AP) -- Several athletes have been briefly halted at the entry to the Olympic Village because a computer check showed that somebody had already entered on their pass, officials said.

 It was not immediately clear if the cause might be counterfeiting -- which could pose a security threat to the village -- or confusion in the system of checks.

 Among those stopped was champion Australian swimmer Grant Hackett, a favorite in the 1,500-meter freestyle, according to Michael Wenden, assistant chief of the Australian Olympic Committee.

 "I understand that Grant Hackett was met at the entrance and escorted to a security officer to double-check his pass and then they said, 'Thank you very much for your cooperation,' and made sure that he wasn't inconvenienced in getting to a dining hall," Wenden said Monday (Sunday night EDT).

 "And although there was a hiccup in the system, the extent of it was very minor and I think it was remedied quite quickly," he added.

 Liz Smylie, a spokeswoman for the Sydney organizing committee, said there was no evidence anyone had actually entered the village on a false pass.

 "It involved a handful of athletes. To my knowledge, no one has gotten into the village," she said.

 Smylie would not identify who was involved nor would she say whether the cause was counterfeiting or another reason.
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