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Saturday, September 2, 2000
USOC asks Supreme Court to intervene

 WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. Olympic Committee went to the Supreme Court on Saturday in a bid to keep Greco-Roman wrestler Matt Lindland off the American team.

 The committee asked Justice John Paul Stevens to allow Keith Sieracki to remain on the team instead of Lindland. Stevens, who handles Chicago-based cases when the court is not in session, is not expected to act on the request before Tuesday.

 Lindland, a former University of Nebraska wrestling coach, dropped a 2-1 referee's decision to Sieracki at the Olympic trials in Dallas on June 23.

 But Lindland claimed he was tripped by Sieracki during the Olympic trials, and took the case to arbitration. The arbitrator ordered a rematch and Lindland then beat Sieracki, a military police sergeant, 8-0.

 The U.S. Olympic Committee was reluctant to make the roster switch, so Lindland asked the courts to affirm his right to join the U.S. team.

 U.S. District Judge James B. Zagel ordered the USOC to contact the International Olympic Committee and tell it to change the U.S. roster to give Lindland the spot. IOC officials said this week they would honor Zagel's order.

 On Friday, a three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago upheld Lindblad's spot on the team.

 After that ruling, Lindland attorney Kevin B. Duff said that he was "very pleased for Matt -- he's worked very hard over the years to get to this point.

 "He played by the rules both on the mat and following the USA Wrestling and USOC procedures for appropriate protests when a situation such as this arises during a match."

 USOC attorney Irving B. Levinson would not comment.
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