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Thursday, September 21, 2000
Samaranch back as boss

By DAVE FULLER -- Toronto Sun

  The Olympic boss is back in charge.

 Three days after attending his wife's funeral in Spain, Juan Antonio Samaranch resumed his duties last night at the Sydney Games as president of the International Olympic Committee.

 "These were not easy days for me," Samaranch told reporters in his first public appearance since returning to Sydney. "I am very happy to be back and take again the responsibility of the presidency of the IOC."

 Samaranch, 80, attending his last Games as head of the IOC, left Sydney the morning after last Friday's opening ceremony and flew to Barcelona to be at the bedside of his wife, Maria Teresa.

 But Mrs. Samaranch, who reportedly had been suffering from cancer, died before he arrived.

 Baumann appeals: Former Olympic 5,000 metres champion Dieter Baumann, banned from the Sydney Games for doping, will appeal to sport's highest court today for the right to run, his lawyer Michael Lehner said.

 But the Court of Arbitration for Sport could decide it is ineligible to rule on Baumann's bid to overturn the two-year suspension he received Monday from the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF), Lehner said.

 Baumann, who said he failed drug tests because his toothpaste was spiked with the anabolic steroid nandrolone, wants clearance to run in the Sept. 27 heats for the 5,000 metres, which he won at the 1992 Barcelona Games.

 The 35-year-old German twice tested positive for nandrolone last year but was later cleared by his national federation.

 Cyclist may be tossed: Czech cyclist Jan Hruska has tested positive for an unspecified banned drug and may be out of the Sydney Olympics, the Czech news agency CTK reported. Hruska's departure was postponed until today, when results from a second test are supposed to be available.

 dutch Talent deep in pool: Pieter Van den Hoogenband picked up his second gold medal of the Games with a fast victory in the men's 100-metre freestyle final, the most prestigious title in Olympic swimming. On a great night for the Netherlands, compatriot Inge de Bruijn smashed her own world record for the women's 100-metre freestyle in the semi-finals when she finished with a time of 53.77 seconds.

 Davenport withdraws: Defending women's tennis champion Lindsay Davenport of the U.S. withdrew from the Olympics because of an injury yesterday. The top-seeded Davenport aggravated her sprained left foot in a first-round victory over Paola Suarez of Argentina. Her withdrawal was announced just before she was to take the court for a second-round match against Paraguay's Rossana De Los Rios.

 "I hurt it in Canada before the U.S. Open and sprained the outside of my foot, and it just hasn't completely healed yet," she said. "The courts are a little stickier, and so my foot kind of gets jammed."

 Venus rises: American Venus Williams extended her winning streak to 28 matches by beating Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand 6-2, 6-3 in the second round at the Olympics.

 Williams' victory yesterday left her one round from a quarter-final showdown against the last player to beat her, Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario of Spain. The fifth-seeded Spaniard advanced to the third round by beating Patricia Wartusch of Austria 6-2, 6-4.

 Dirty games? An Islamic politician says Sydney's Olympic Games contain more sex than sports and wants some events banned on Kuwait's state television.

 "Some events, especially women's contests, have flagrant scenes which are unacceptable," MP Waleed al-Tabtabaie said, addressing the information ministry.

 "Women's beach volleyball games, diving and synchronized swimming contests are not acceptable ... They reflect Western norms that do not give a woman's body any of the respect, honour or protection which Islam and Sharia (Islamic law) have granted her," al-Tabtabaie said, who also has protested against music concerts and celebrating Valentine's Day in the past.

 -- With files from AP
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