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Mon, August 16, 2004
No need to panic ... or is there?
By -- Toronto Sun

Day two: Medal count, U.S. 8, China 7, Russia 6.

Canada 0. Nada. Buppkiss.

Deal with it. Ya get what ya pay for ... and it's not easy finding a good chemist these days.

THE TRUTH HURTS:

And, the gold medal goes to...

The World anti-Doping Association.

Most staggering Olympic stat involves not who is at the Games but who isn't. The early line favourites in all four major sprints are now banished. Kostas Kenteris, defending 200-metres champ, Tim Montgomery, world 100-metre record holder, and Marion Jones, Olympic champion over both distances, have all been taken behind the woodshed -- and left there.

In the past year, 15 Americans have tested positive, 14 of whom have been banned.

You can't believe anything you see anymore -- especially not if it happens at a track meet. Pity.

GAMES' PANORAMA

Headline in the Scotland Daily Record: "Let the Shames Begin."

Dwight Perry, Seattle Times: "World anti-Doping Agency officials aren't saying where they dispose of all those positive test samples, but the lawns at WADA headquarters, we hear, have to be mowed three times each day."

Mike Celizic, of MSNBC, on how America is perceived post-Iraq by the sports world: "We're the bullies on the block, the muscle-bound beach bum who kicks sand in the faces of 97-pound weaklings, the big-box chain store that knocks out the mom-and-pop hardware business, Godzilla munching and crunching our way through Tokyo, Clubber Lang pummeling Rocky, Lord Voldemort plotting to kill Harry Potter ... Even Canadians don't cheer America's victories anymore."

BEHIND THE EIGHT BALL

Canada's men's eights rowing crew lost for the first time in two years. "Now the pressure's off," said crew member Scott Frandsen of Kelowna, B.C. "Now we can relax and just go out there and race." But, I don't know, if they aren't careful they could end up relaxing themselves right onto an early plane ride home.

ACTION

Colorado Rockies, owned by Coors brewery, think it is a good idea to keep Jeff Francis out of the Canadian Olympic lineup.

REACTION

Maybe Canadians could start thinking it is a good idea to keep Coors out of their beer fridge lineup.

WHEN PIGS FLY

Olympic president Jacques Rogge opened the Games calling for tolerance and goodwill.

So, what happens? Less than 48 hours later, Iranian judoka champ Arash Miresmaeili forfeits his first-round clash, reacting as if touching Israel's Ehud Vaks will give him cooties. Iranian president Mohammad Khatami said Miresmaeili's action "will be recorded in the history of Iranian glories."

Arash's official reason for not fighting was that he couldn't make weight. Which makes sense, but only if he's carrying the hates and prejudices of the entire militant Islamic world on his shoulders.

SMALL FISH, BIG POND

Canada's best swimmer is Victor Davis. And he's dead. Which explains Canada's 0-fer on opening day.

Yesterday on CBC, Elaine Tanner, former Canadian Olympic water nymph, issues a scathing indictment of how the sport is run in this country. For instance, how can swimmers get international experience, she points out, when the Canadian swim federation sets standards so far above the international level that our young athletes can't qualify for international events?

"The swimmers have lost faith in the system," said Tanner. "We need new leadership ... it's the same old boys."

You go, girl!

MEANING OF OLYMPICS

Ibrahim Githaiga finished more than a minute behind the winner in the 2,000 metre single sculls.

"This is the best day of my life," said Ibrahim, Kenya's Olympic rowing pioneer.

Seif Patwa, chairman of the Kenyan Rowing Association, said: "A lot of people who could not spell the word 'rowing' now know what it's all about."

So, they have a clue. We can but pray that before tomorrow's repechage, our own heavy eights find one.




Does Canada's low-medal haul in Athens bother you?
Yes, it depresses me
No, it's just sports
I'm disappointed, but not worried
We'll get 'em in Turin
Don't care

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