Of their gold medals by the IOC, the members of the 2000 U.S. 4 √ó 400 meter relay team. In May team member Antonio Pettigrew (above, left, with teammates Calvin Harrison, Alvin Harrison and Michael Johnson) admitted he had been doping at the time; last Saturday the IOC disqualified the entire team. It was the sixth medal—four of them gold—stripped from U.S. athletes for cheating in the past eight months. Johnson had already planned to give back his relay medal, the fifth of his career. "I don't want it," he wrote in a June column in England's Daily Telegraph. "I feel cheated, betrayed and let down."
To compete in Beijing, four members of the Iraqi Olympic team. On July 23 the IOC announced it was banning Iraq—which planned to send seven athletes to the Games—because of "government interference" in Iraq's National Olympic Committee (SI, Aug. 4). On July 29 the IOC reversed itself after the Iraqi government vowed to hold supervised NOC elections. The decision came after the deadline for entries in everything except track and field, so not every athlete in the delegation will be able to compete. A sprinter and a discus thrower were able to enter, and two rowers will be able to compete because a spot in the doubles field opened up.
By the Beijing Organizing Committee, that anyone wishing to protest during the Olympics apply for a permit five days in advance. A statement on the official Olympic news website from the BOC security chief read, "Assembling to march and protest is a citizen's right. But it must be stressed that when exercising this right, citizens must respect and not harm others' freedoms and rights and must not harm national, social and collective interests." Approved demonstrations can only be held in three parks in the Chinese capital, all of which are several miles from the Olympic venues.
For two games for a fight that left teammate Ken Lucas with a broken nose, Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith. The three-time Pro Bowler was thrown out of practice last Friday after the fracas, which happened during a break in drills. Smith and Lucas, a cornerback, have a history of jawing with each other in practice. Smith will lose more than $200,000 in salary; the suspension will not begin until the regular season, and Smith was allowed to return on Monday.
August 10, 2008
With Israeli club Maccabi Tel-Aviv, former Orlando point guard Carlos Arroyo (below), the latest high-profile NBA player to move overseas. The decision by Arroyo, 29, to accept a three-year deal worth an estimated $2.5 million a year after taxes (the equivalent of about $5 million before taxes) came two weeks after former Hawks forward Josh Childress signed with Greek team Olympiakos (SI, Aug. 4). Last week SI.com reported that Olympiakos is mulling a $50 million-a-year offer for LeBron James in 2010, when he can become a free agent.
At age 68, longtime Braves announcer Skip Caray. While his father, the late Hall of Fame broadcaster Harry Caray, was known for his ebullient personality, Skip was far more reserved, relying on a sharp, sardonic wit. "Skip Caray is as much a part of Atlanta Braves baseball as any of us," said Braves third baseman Chipper Jones. "We all grew up listening to Skip." Several health problems led Caray, who began broadcasting Braves games in 1976, to cut back his schedule; he only worked home games this year.
At age 90, Daniel Bukantz, a four-time national fencing champion who competed in four Olympics. Bukantz later worked as an official in several Games. A member of the U.S. Fencing Hall of Fame, Bukantz is the father of Jeff Bukantz, 50, the captain of the U.S. Olympic fencing team.
They Said It
White Sox outfielder, on teammate Carlos Quentin, who had a homer and four RBIs against the Twins on July 30:
"He's hotter than doughnut grease."
SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE
A motorized wheelchair was stolen and driven out of the Metrodome as its 17-year-old owner watched a Twins game with his parents.