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    Thursday, February 19, 1998

    Unused bullets turn up in locker room garbage

     NOZAWA ONSEN, Japan (AP) -- Five unused bullets turned up in a locker room wastebasket at the biathlon competition, prompting police to warn teams to keep strict control of ammunition, an American coach said today.
     Japan has some of the world's toughest gun laws, and organizers have imposed strict controls on rifles and ammunition used in the biathlon competition, which combines cross-country skiing and target shooting.
     Coach Timothy Derrick said the police announcement was made at a meeting of biathlon team captains Tuesday. Volunteers at the event also were warned not to accept unused bullets as souvenirs.
     It wasn't know in which country's locker room the bullets were found.
     "I'm sure it wasn't anyone on our team," Derrick said. "I think there's generally a lot of respect for the rules out there."
     He speculated that a tired athlete may have dumped the unused bullets to avoid having to go through the procedures of returning them.