-- International judo officials won't penalize a two-time champion from Iran who reportedly said he wouldn't fight an Israeli opponent, then showed up overweight for the bout.

Arash Miresmaeili, a favorite in the under 146-pound (66kg) class, failed to meet the weight requirement Sunday for a bout with Israel's Ehud Vaks and was disqualified.

The International Judo Federation investigated and concluded that he didn't miss his weight to avoid the bout. The federation has no rule for penalizing an overweight athlete.

Iran does not recognize Israel and bans any contact with the Jewish state.

Miresmaeili was world judo champion in 2001 and 2003 and finished fifth at the Sydney Olympics. He carried the Iranian flag at the Opening Ceremonies and was considered a favorite to win Iran's first gold medal in judo.

Probe Continues

A prosecutor looking into the suspicious motorcycle accident involving Greek sprinters Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou wants to take a closer look at the injuries suffered by the athletes, a judicial source said yesterday.

Prosecutor Haralambos Lakafosis, overseeing the investigation into the accident, wants to question some of the doctors at Athens's KAT hospital, a senior source in the Athens prosecutor's office told the Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

The medical condition of the two athletes is considered a key part of the investigation into the accident and could answer allegations that it may not have taken place or was staged.

The wreck was reported on the night of Aug. 12, hours after the two sprinters missed a drug test at the Olympic Village. They were hospitalized with cuts and bruises, which prolonged an International Olympic Committee probe into whether they evaded the test.

Both withdrew from the Games Wednesday.

Rising Costs

Costs for the Olympics are climbing again, expected to top $8.5 billion because of the massive security and overruns in the last-minute scramble to get venues ready, a government official said yesterday.

Deputy Finance Minister Petros Doukas said the latest figure -- up from the original $5.6 billion projection and the $7.2 billion revision prior to the Games -- was driven by a desire to put on a first-class event.

"We did not cut corners -- not for security, not for equipment, not for the quality of venues and not for the comfort of our guests," Doukas said at the Athens Business Club, a forum created to attract post-Olympic investment.

Some analysts predict the final price tag could climb to $12.5 billion and burden Greek taxpayers for at least a decade. . . .

Equestrian riders and trainers await for the next step in a rare drama for the polite sport after Germany's riders won the gold medal Wednesday in the three-day team event -- but not before losing it, and then winning it back, in a bizarre flurry of judging decisions and reversals.

France, Britain and the United States -- the three teams caught in the middle of the judges' indecision -- said they would appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport here to reverse the turnabout that briefly gave the U.S. team the bronze. . . .

Five weightlifters were suspended for flunking drug tests they took before the Olympics.

The International Weightlifting Federation said the suspended lifters were Wafa Ammouri of Morocco, Zoltan Kecskes of Hungary, Viktor Chislean of Moldova, Pratima Kumari Na of India and Sule Sahbaz of Turkey.

Twenty world-class weightlifters have been suspended this year.

France, Britain and the United States will appeal the controversial victory of Bettina Hoy's German equestrian squad in the three-day team event.Iranian judo president Mohammed Derakhshan, top right, has words with International Judo Federation President Yong Sung Park, below left.