Four athletes at the Special Olympics World Summer Games were missing from their nation's delegation Tuesday night, but officials said additional precautions are unnecessary.

Two Moroccan soccer players were reported missing Tuesday night. Last week, two Special Olympians from the Dominican Republic left a shopping trip in Greensboro, N.C., took a cab to Charlotte and then caught a bus to New York, officials said.

None had been found by police.

Joe Freddoso, chief executive officer of the Games, said each delegation is responsible for policing its own athletes, noting there is a 4-to-1 ratio of athletes-to-coaches.

"When you go to the Olympic Games or an NCAA basketball tournament, the team members are pretty much on their own--they're adults," Freddoso said yesterday. "For us to put more restrictions on whether they can go down to Hillsborough Street and go shopping or go to Crabtree Valley Mall would be a bit intrusive, and I don't think appropriate."

Freddoso grew irritated when pressed on the subject.

"I think what you're seeing is pretty commonplace. The only reason the questions are coming up is that we are dealing with athletes with mental retardation. We have to realize they are able to function on their own."

The two Moroccan athletes, Niam Tanji, 21, and Jamal Agdani, 23, were last seen at lunch Monday and did not attend their soccer match later in the day, event officials said Tuesday. The coach told the head of the Moroccan delegation. Games organizers were then alerted.


Invitation to Play

Seven D.C. United players were invited to U.S. national team training camp in Denver to prepare for the FIFA Confederations Cup in Mexico. Camp opens July 11 and the 27-man roster will be cut to 20 a week later. The Americans will play New Zealand, Brazil and Germany in the tournament, which begins July 24.

The United players are goalkeeper Tom Presthus; defenders Carlos Llamosa, Eddie Pope and Jeff Agoos; midfielders Richie Williams and Ben Olsen; and forward Roy Lassiter. None will miss any United games while in training camp, and those who make the final roster are expected to miss only one league game.

National team coach Bruce Arena also invited nine players who are based in foreign leagues, including English Premier League goalkeepers Kasey Keller and Brad Friedel and Glasgow Rangers midfielder Claudio Reyna. . . .

Manchester United passed up the 127-year-old FA Cup and, instead, will play in the world club championship in January in Brazil.

Chairman Martin Edwards said his team had decided not to defend the domestic FA Cup because "Manchester United sees this as an opportunity to compete for the ultimate honor of being the very first world club champions."

Britain's richest soccer club qualified for the inaugural FIFA-backed world championship by winning last season's European Champions League final against Bayern Munich.


Controversial Move

The decision is gripping France more than the 96-year-old Tour de France itself.

Cycling's ruling body, the UCI, on Tuesday ordered race organizers to readmit former French favorite Richard Virenque after he was banned in a bid to prevent a recurrence of the 1998 drug scandals that resulted in only about half the field finishing the race.

Yesterday, the country's incredulity went from the government to city streets. The media in France, which devotes seven hours of daily television coverage to each day of the three-week event, was outraged at UCI President Hein Verbruggen.

"The UCI and its president has chosen lies and insults as the new founding values of the sport," French sports paper L'Equipe said under the banner headline: 'Shocking!'

Le Monde, France's respected afternoon daily, devoted most of its front page to the story, as well as an inside page and an editorial titled: "Cycling Betrayed."

Track and Field

Jones's Golden Pursuit

Marion Jones began her quest for a share of the $1 million Golden League jackpot by winning the 200-meter dash at the Bislett Games in Oslo.

Jones was timed in 22.13 seconds and led all the way.

The Golden League comprises the most important one-day meetings in Oslo, Rome, Monaco, Zurich, Brussels, Berlin and Paris. The jackpot will be shared among those who win Golden League events in all seven meets.

Jones won both her two previous 100-meter races at Bislett, one of track and field's most storied settings, where 51 world records have been broken since 1924.


Jamerson Grabs Honor

Faber Jamerson of Appomattox put together two 2-under par 70s to outlast some of his elders and win medalist honors in the Virginia State Golf Association Amateur in Lynchburg.

The 22-year-old Jamerson was one shot better than three former champions who tied for second over the 6,748-yard Boonsboro Country Club course.

Allen Barber of Yorktown, 40, the 1992 champion, made the biggest move with a 3-under 69. Two-time former winner Keith Decker, 39, of Fieldale had a 72; and first-day leader, two-time champion David Partridge, 44, of Richmond, had a 74 as all three finished at 141.

"Everybody was in when I went out, so I knew 141 was low at the time," Jamerson said.

The four were the only players under par as the field was cut to the low 32 for two rounds of match play each today and Friday. The 36-hole title match is Saturday.

CAPTION: American Marion Jones, seen winning the 200-meter dash on Sunday in Oregon, captured the same event at the Bislett Games in Oslo yesterday.