Charging that Atlanta officials secured the 1996 Olympic Games using improper actions that sometimes bordered on criminal, Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said yesterday he plans to call a congressional hearing in October to examine Atlanta's Olympic bid and to review the International Olympic Committee's tax-exempt status in the United States.
Upton said a report completed last week by former attorney general Griffin Bell demonstrated that Atlanta officials lavished the IOC with such excessive gifts and favors they "were prepared to stop at nothing and the IOC, in my view, chose to turn a blind eye."
Upton, chairman of the House subcommittee on oversight and investigations, said he would invite IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch to testify at the hearing, for which a precise date has not been set. Said Upton: "This is more than just Atlanta. This is changing the culture of the Olympic Games."
The Justice Department is in the midst of an investigation of Salt Lake City's bid for the 2002 Olympic Games. That probe has resulted in two federal indictments. Ten IOC members resigned or were expelled because of actions related to Salt Lake City's bid.
Neither the Justice Department nor the IOC has investigated Atlanta's efforts to win the Olympics. Bell's report, prepared for the law firm that represented the former Atlanta bid committee, detailed numerous excesses that included sending a metro bus to Central America and paying for IOC members' vacations to destinations such as Hawaii, Upton said.
Upton charged that some of the excessive gift-giving broke U.S. laws but that the statute of limitations had run out for the prosecution of any crimes.
"As I review these documents, the travel and the other things, they were prepared to stop at nothing," Upton said about the Atlanta bid officials. "My sense is every city competing was prepared to do the same thing."
Puerto Rico Hails Hero
They chanted his name while salsa songs written in his honor blared from giant speakers. Revelers jammed highways, hoping to get a glimpse of him.
Felix Trinidad, a conquering hero come home, was back in Puerto Rico, where he was welcomed by thousands amid a frenzy of adulation and national pride.
At an airport news conference, Trinidad joked about his victory over Oscar De La Hoya on Saturday night in Las Vegas.
"He had a different style of boxing," Trinidad said. "He ran a lot."
Trinidad's plane landed in San Juan amid roars of "Tito! Tito!" Fans waved the U.S. territory's lone-star flag.
"I promised you this victory and I did it," Trinidad said. "This triumph is for all of Puerto Rico. There is no doubt now that the best boxers are in Puerto Rico--pound for pound they have the most heart. I feel super content."
Police tried to close one lane to make way for a victory cavalcade, but delirious motorists ignored the officers and zipped by. Others abandoned their cars in an airport logjam and walked the last mile.
10-Miler Closes Field
The Army Ten-Miler, one of the District's most popular races, has reached its field limit of 16,000 runners and is no longer accepting entries, said race director Paul Banta. The race has doubled in size in the past three years, Banta said, so organizers limited the field for the first time to make sure the course could handle the load.
"We could've had 18,000 or 19,000 runners this year," Banta said.
Last year more than 14,000 runners packed the course--an increase of 3,000 over the previous year--causing backups at the start and finish. To ease congestion at the start this year, Banta said he will spread runners across both sides of Route 27 near the Pentagon for the first mile. To avoid finish-line backups, he has introduced an electronic chip timing system.
The race, which is set for Oct. 10, is the largest 10-mile race in the United States.
Lehman Set for Dunhill
Tom Lehman will join Mark O'Meara and Payne Stewart on the U.S. team for next month's Dunhill Cup.
The United States, which has won the title three times, is favored in the annual team competition and will look to oust two-time defending champion South Africa.
The event will be played Oct. 7-10 at the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland, and offers $1.6 million in prize money.
Stewart, O'Meara and Lehman have won six majors among them. Lehman's inclusion ended speculation that Tiger Woods might be the third U.S. team member.
Belgium's Sabine Appelmans upset fourth-seeded Irina Spirlea of Romania, 7-5, 7-6 (7-3), in the opening round of the $180,000 Seat Open in Luxembourg.
The top two seeds, U.S. Open champion Serena Williams and Belgian Dominique Van Roost, both received byes into the second round.
USPS Team Adds Five
The U.S. Postal Service Cycling team said it's adding five riders to its roster for the 2000 cycling season, when team leader Lance Armstrong will look to repeat his victory in the Tour de France.
Joining the U.S. Postal Service team in 2000 will be Cedric Vasseur of France, Russian Viatcheslav Ekimov, Patrick Jonker of Australia, American Levi Leipheimer and Steffen Kjaergaard of Norway.