The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 12, 2000 - 13
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - and waited while team officials, hotel
Virtual prisoners in their own hotel, personnel and police decided how to
U.S. Olympic basketball teams get them out of the building so they
might be heading to Sydney earlier could make the one-mile trip to their
than planned. practice facility at Melbourne Park.
Protesters surrounded the Crown Eventually, the women simply
Casino and Hotel on Monday, causing walked through an opening in the bar-
the men's team to cancel practice and ricades and strolled a quarter-mile to
forcing the women's team to return their bus.
from practice by boat. The protesters left them alone,
The thousands of protesters have except for directing a playful chant at
no argument with Vince Carter, them.
Sheryl Swoopes and the rest of the "It was easier than I thought it
basketball players, but are venting would be," player Theresa Edwards
*r displeasure at the business lead- said. "They were sitting on the
ers from around the globe who have ground. It wasn't like they were
come to Melbourne for the World standing there with sticks."
Economic Forum. Iotel officials suggested the men's
Problem is, they're all staying at the team leave the hotel by boat to get to
same hotel. practice, but team officials nixed the
"There's a possibility we could idea.
move on to Sydney," USA Basketball By the time the women's practice
spokesman Craig Miller said. "We had ended, the situation outside had
have to find out if it's feasible." deteriorated to the point where it was
The protests are expected to contin- unsafe to try to bring the women back
Or two more days. The men's team by bus.
was originally scheduled to depart for They were forced to take a five-
Sydney on Thursday, while the minute boat trip back.
women had planned to leave a day "I guess this is the price you pay for
earlier. staying in the kind of hotel we're in,"
With no one able to enter or leave Svoopes said.
the hotel complex, and with the The men's team lifted weights,
women forced to take to the Yarra walked through some plays and
River just to get back to their rooms, reviewed videotape at their hotel.
it was clear the teams felt the best USA Basketball officials had been
course of action would be to leave the warned months ago that they could
i s in Melbourne behind. become circumstantial victims of the
efore they could bail out, howev- protests, but decided to stick with
er, thev had to make sure they could their choice of accommodations.
catchilfights to Sydney and check into The protest leaders used chalk and
hoteliearlier than planned. spray paint to write anti-capitalist
"e're trying to make a positive of messages on the outside of the con-
this situation,' U.S. men's coach crete barricades.
Rudy Tomjanovich said. Holding anti-capitalist placards
Police set up concrete barricades and banners, one group staged a sit-
and-fettces around the perimeter of down protest near a vehicle entrance,
the hotel, a sprawling complex with chanting, "Hey, Nike, you so bad. You
i .s of restaurants, theaters and so bad, you make me mad."
The protesters massed around the
entir circumference of the hotel and
kept traffic from entering or leaving
The women's team met in the lobby
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Facing protesters surrounding their Melbourne, Australia hotel, members of both
U.S. basketball teams found themselves stuck inside for the day.
Uzbek track coach
refutes dope charge
SYDNEY, Australia (AP) -- An general assembly session, Ruziev also
Uzbekistan track and field coach said his nation's government has asked
stopped at the airport last week asiith 15 Australia to reconsider its ban on
vials of human growth Ihorione was Uzbek boxing official Gafur Rakhimov.
using the dru for a skin disorder, the Rakhimov, who is accused of having
president oflthe Uzbek national Olympic tics to organized crime, was denied
committee contended Vonday. entrv to Australia even though he has
Sergei Voynov has been so dis- Olympic accreditation, which usually
turbed by accusations of smuggling acts as a visa into a countty hosting the
that he had to be taken to a hospital games.
with high blood pressure and chest Officials said last week that Voynov
pains, Uzbek NOC president Sabirjan could face expulsion frotmt the Sydney
Ruziev added. Games and severe legal penalties in
In a meting with reporters durits" Australia if the dug vials prove to con-
the International Olvtpic Comittce's tain human growth hormone.
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IOC vows action
to combat possible
SYDNEY, Australia (AP) - Betting on the Olympics is not
Dismayed that athletes are free to bet on allowed in New South Wales, of which
themselves or their opponents at the Sydney is the capital. But it is legal in
Sydney Games, the International the Northern Territory, and the
Olympic Committee has vowed to Centrebet agency based there can take
adopt strict anti-gambling rules for bets from Sydney and other areas with
future gatnes. its Internet betting service.
The IOC has strongly discouraged "It is counter to the spirit of
athletes from betting, saying it could be Olympism," warned Mustapha Larfaoui,
a violation of Olympic ethics, but there president of the intemational swimming
is no specific provision in the Olympic federation. "It's like cancer that is going
charter outlawing gambling. to metastasize and spread through the
Keba Mbaye, chairman of the IOC sport. We have to nip it in the bud."
ethics commission, acknowledged bet- Larfaoui and Mbaye were among the
ting is "totally free in this country," but IOC members who expressed concern
called on athletes and fans not to bet on about gambling by Olympic athletes as
the Sydney Games. - the IOC opened its three-day general
"It is in total contradiction of the eth- assembly session Monday.
ical principle of Olympism," Mbaye Gerard Daffy, the sports betting man-
said. "In the very near future, we will be agerat Centrebet, said his agency is set-
presenting (amendments) in the charter ting a betting line on every event and
that makes this very clear. We will have game at the Olympics from archery to
to have a provision in the charter that is synchronized swimming. He expects to
certainly what the ethics commission is take in as much as S45 million in bets
recommending" on the Sydney Games.
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