Never mind that John Akii-Bua became a national hero in 1972 when his 400-meter hurdles triumph sent the flag of Uganda aloft over the Olympic victory stand at Munich. Never mind that the lithe athlete held the world record in his specialty until recently. Idi Amin uber alles.
Akii-Bua and Uganda's national soccer coash, David Otti, have been seized, imprisoned and tortured by Amin's security forces, according to East African radio and reports from persecuted Ugandans fleeing into Kenya. Akii-Bua, a senior police superintendent by occupation, was picked up at his house in Kampala, according to the reports. He and Otti Prison, sometimes called The Elimination Chambers," according to another sports official who also was arrested but escaped to Kenya.
Akii-Bua is a member of the Langi tribe and Otti is an Acholi. Both tribes, predominantly Christian, reportedly have been the target of a purge launched by Amin after he uncovered an alleged coup plot in January . . .
International intrigue. You wouldn't believe the variety of reasons being bandied about as to why Nadia Comanect's tour with the Romanian gymnastics team, including a Cole Field House date March 15, has been canceled, but let's not get into that. The U.S. Gymnastics Federation says it has been advised that a four-member Romanian team will compete in the March 12-13 American Cup competition at Madison Square Garden; the presumably ailing Comaneci's close friend and triple-medal winner in Montreal, Theodora Ungureanu, becomes the headliner . . .
Charlie Finley prefaced setting out to tell Bowie Kuhn to get loss with the allegations he is dissoving his Oakland A's with fresh evidence to the contrary; yesterday morning he signed pitcher Mike Terrez to a one-year, $100,000-plus contract and pitcher Stan Bahnsen for four years - that's right, four years. "I was surprised by the easy negotiations with Mr. Finley," said Bahnsen, who is 32 and agentless. "He was as fair as anyone ever has been to me in baseball. I'm tickled to death" . . .
The Los Angeles Coliseum is being shrunk from 91,038 seating capacity to 71,432 and owner Carroll Rosenbloom of the NFL Rams says it's all for the fans - "We want to create a bowl-shaped stadium that will bring 40,000 fans closer to the action." So the playing field will be moved 20 yards west to permit the reshaping. And, naturally, it will cost those fans. Ram ticket prices are going up. They were $10, $8, $6, $4 and $2 in 1976; will run $12 and $10 across the board in '77 . . .
In Baltimore, City Comptroller Hyman Pressman yowled yesterday that proposed Memorial Stadium contracts "outrageous giveaway," maybe even illegal. Officials estimate that the contracts - expected to be approved by the park board - will cost the city more than $1 million in lost revenue. The arrangement would lower the teams' rent, give them a higher cut of concessions and give the Colts partly with the Orioles, who have operated without a contract since 1975. Said Pressman, "It's like giving food stamps to the rich . . . The Colts already had the best stadium contract in the entire National Football League and now they are getting tribute to stay here" . . .
Longtime big-league pitcher and former Baltimore restaurateur [WORD ILLEGIBLE] Pappas has been named manager of the Chicago Storm of softball's new American Pro Slo-Pitch League; that's the team that has Ron-Seate as a player. The Baltimore Monuments report 100 season tickets sold for the AP&PL games at Rips Stadium to Bowie . . . look who's Maryland state and regional junior-college one-meter and three-meter diving champion, headed the nationals at Indian River, Fla., March 10; [WORD ILLEGIBLE] Carpenter, whose daddy whiried through some space, too . . . At Virginia Tech, the new celebrity is Irene Spicker, who owns the women's world record, officially at least in the pole vault after clearing 8 feet 1/2 inch in the Mason Dixon Games at Louisville. Her target: 10 feet in the spring . . . Whatever happened to T. Bone Toney Kllis, good little man of De Matha's recent basketball years? Fear not, he went out to U. of Calorado and, as a freshman, has made honorable mention AP All-Big Eight . . .
Barry Frasier of Washington Tech had risen to No. 3 on the national junior college basketball scoring list, 31.3 points a game, before he blistered Cuyahoga Community College for 49.
The House Rules Committee voted yesterday to continue Rep. B.F. Sisk's special committee on pro sports though his session of Congress. Rep. Peter Redine, House Judiciary Committee chairman, objected that the special group would infringe on the jurisdiction of regular standing committees, but a voice vote sent the measure to the House for floor action, probably next week . . . Randolph-Macon, boasting some D.C. metropolitan-area talent and a 19-7 record, has been picked for the NCAA Division II basketball championships; takes on host Youngstown State (21-5) in Ohio in the Great Lakes Regional on Friday . . . This year's April 29-May 1 Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival sports marshal will be, as usual, a biggie: Prett Pretty Paul Hormang . . . Another nice thing about the Redskins' George Allen: One of the causes closest to the heart of the late part-owner of the club, Milton King, was the National Jewish Hospital and Research Center in Denver. Allen has taken over the NJH's 78th-year fund drive in this area.