U.S. Hoops Team Arrives In China

Associated Press
Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Loaded with star power but wary of complacency, the U.S. Olympic men's basketball team arrived in Macau, China, yesterday with a word of caution from Coach Mike Krzyzewski.

"We haven't accomplished anything yet," he said.

The team is taking its Olympic preparations to this southern Chinese casino enclave. LeBron James joined the squad's first practice in Macau with his right ankle taped. He sat out the Americans' first tuneup against Canada on Friday with a sprain.

"Every time we step on to the court, we know we have the talent and we know we have the strength to go out and be the best team on the court," James said. "The chemistry right now is really good."

The Cleveland Cavaliers star said he will play in upcoming exhibition games in Macau and Shanghai.

· TICKETS: All tickets to Olympic events in Beijing have been sold, organizers said, putting the Games on course to be the first to sell out.

"Tickets to watch competitive events of the 2008 Games in Olympic venues in Beijing are now sold out," said a brief notice on the Beijing Games' Web site.

With enthusiasm among home fans running at fever pitch, the Aug. 8-24 Games are expected to be played out in front of full venues, although tickets that went to sponsors and the national Olympic committees of participating countries may not all get used.

· IRAQ: Senior Iraqi government officials will meet with the International Olympic Committee today in Switzerland to try to salvage the country's participation in the Beijing Games.

A delegation led by government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh will discuss reinstating the National Olympic Committee, which was dissolved by the Baghdad government in May, and led to the IOC suspending Iraq from the Olympics for political interference. Iraq has verbally committed to a compromise by holding free elections to its national committee under IOC observation.

· SWIMMING: Dara Torres's coach is set to undergo aggressive treatment for the rare, potentially fatal blood disease that has prevented him from traveling to the Olympics. Michael Lohberg has been undergoing multiple blood transfusions since he arrived last Friday at the National Institutes for Health in Bethesda.

Lohberg, 58, has aplastic anemia, in which the bone marrow doesn't produce enough new cells, leading to fatigue, increased risk of infection and uncontrolled bleeding. Treatment can involve blood transfusions or a bone marrow transplant.

· DOPING: Danish mountain bike champion Peter Riis Andersen was barred from the Games for testing positive for EPO. Riis Andersen admitted that he had taken the banned blood booster and said he would quit professional cycling. . . . Cyclist Marta Bastianelli, who is scheduled to compete for Italy, has tested positive for a banned substance, Italian news reports said. . . . An unidentified Jamaican track and field athlete tested positive for a banned substance and will be removed from the country's Olympic team. An official said it was not a "major" member of the team.

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