POLITIA, Greece -- The USOC vowed Tuesday that there won't be a repeat of the flag-waving
display that embarrassed American officials four years ago in Sydney.
During the 2000 Games in Australia, bare-chested members of the
winning men's 400-meter relay team wrapped themselves in the flag
and clowned on the victory stand during the playing of "The
Star-Spangled Banner." U.S. officials cringed, worried that it
sent the wrong message to a global television audience.
USOC chief executive Jim Scherr said that American athletes have
been warned not to repeat such a scene in Athens, though he was
quick to say there was nothing wrong with U.S. athletes waving the
flag or celebrating in more appropriate ways.
In Sydney, Maurice Greene and other members of the relay squad
even annoyed some teammates by preening and flexing their muscles
during a victory lap and then posturing on the medal stand. Greene,
who later apologized, stuck his tongue out at cameras after getting
"That is an example of improper and egregious error. We are
determined not to let that happen again," Scherr said.
Greene apologized again on Tuesday for the display, but said
such performances aren't planned in advance.
The daily dope
In the first doping case of the Athens
Olympics, a Kenyan boxer was disqualified and barred from the games Tuesday after
failing an out-of-competition drug test in the athletes' village.
Bantamweight David Munyasia, 24, tested positive for the banned
stimulant cathine, the International Olympic Committee said.
All athletes have been subject to random doping tests since the
opening of the Olympic village on July 30.
During the games, the IOC plans to conduct
about 2,600 urine tests and 400 checks for the blood-boosting
hormone EPO -- a 25 percent increase over the number of tests in
Sydney four years ago. Already, 224 tests have been conducted.
IOC medical director Patrick Schamasch said Munyasia arrived in
Athens on Aug. 6 and was tested the same day. Both the A and B
samples were positive, and the boxer had "no explanation" for the
result, Schamasch said.
IOC officials said cathine is a common drug in east Africa and
is found in khat, a leaf that is chewed for its amphetamine-like high.
The IOC referred Munyasia's case to the International Boxing
Association for possible sanctions. Under international rules, a
positive test for cathine warrants a two-year ban.
Former President Bush arrived Tuesday for
the Olympics and boarded a luxury yacht in the northern port of
The U.S. delegation is said to include Barbara Bush and President Bush's
twin daughters, Barbara and Jenna.
The yacht, owned by the family of Greek billionaire Spyros
Latsis, was expected to dock in Athens' port of Piraeus. Security has been very tight at the port,
where at least eight cruise ships will serve as hotels during the Athens Games.
The U.S. delegation also includes tennis star Chris Evert;
Thomas Miller, the U.S. ambassador to Greece; and Alex Spanos, the
owner of the San Diego Chargers who has helped raise millions of
dollars for the president.
Show of unity
In a show of reconciliation between two
old foes, the South and North Korean Olympic teams will march
together again at the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics.
The two teams will enter the Olympic Stadium on Friday under the
same flag -- a blue image of the Korean Peninsula on a white background.
The official name of the teams during the march will be
"Korea," although the North and South will compete separately for
The two Koreas have entered under the same "unification flag" in
four previous international sporting events, including the 2000
There has been tension over North Korea's suspected efforts to
develop nuclear weapons, as well as the North's strong criticism
following the mass defection of hundreds of North Koreans to the
South two weeks ago.
Last week, North Korea failed to show up in Seoul for planned
Cabinet-level talks, and South Korean analysts speculated that the
cancellation was due to the North's objections over the mass
defection. The North had accused the South of kidnapping the North
Koreans, and called it an act of "terrorism."
Somalian gets kicked
The head of Somalia's Olympic Committee
was declared persona non grata at the Olympic Games amid
allegations he embezzled money from a national football federation,
the IOC's ethics commission said Tuesday.
The IOC withdrew Farah W. Addo's
accreditation for the Athens Games after a complaint from world
soccer's governing body, FIFA.
FIFA last month banned Addo from soccer for 10 years for
embezzling funds from the Somali Football Federation while he was
Addo was found guilty of misappropriating money allocated to the
SFF by FIFA's Financial Assistance Program and of using some of it
for his own interests.
The selection of the host city for the
2014 Winter Olympics will be made in Guatemala City in July 2007, the IOC reported Tuesday.
Guatemala City was picked over bids from Durban, South Africa,
and Copenhagen, Denmark. Guatemala City received 57 votes, while
Durban got 40 and Copenhagen 13.
The IOC always chooses host cities seven years in advance.
Cities that have declared interest in bidding for the 2014 Games
include: Tromsoe, Norway; Zurich, Switzerland; Sofia, Bulgaria; and
Muju and Pyeongchang, South Korea.