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June 16, 2000
Former cricket captain replaces Gosper

 SYDNEY, Australia (AP) -- Former Australian cricket captain Mark Taylor is expected to replace embattled IOC vice president Kevan Gosper for a commemorative Olympic torch relay in the Melbourne Cricket Ground on July 30.

 Gosper had been scheduled to carry the Olympic flame into the MCG, where he won an Olympic silver medal for the 1,600-metre relay at the 1956 Melbourne Games, but surrendered his prized spot in the wake of the recent IOC nepotism flap.

 Gosper was condemned for allowing his 11-year-old daughter to replace an Australian-Greek schoolgirl as the first Australian torchbearer following the traditional lighting of the flame last month at Olympia in Greece.

 He admitted letting fatherly pride cloud his judgment, and after reportedly being reprimanded by IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch, has taken no part in subsequent torch activities despite being the senior Olympic representative in the region.

 Taylor was recruited by Sydney Olympic organizers last year to help promote ticket sales, but the advertising campaign was marred by a premium ticket debacle. It was revealed that SOCOG secretly syphoned off the best tickets for sale to selected clients.

 At the time, most Australians could only acquire a games ticket through an oversubscribed ballot.
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