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Published Sep. 27, 2005

TRACK AND FIELD: British 400-meter champion Mark Richardson, who tested positive for steroids, quit the team today, and track's ruling body agreed to postpone his arbitration hearing until after the Games. Richardson was found with nandralone in his system in October 1999. UK Athletics cleared him in July. The IAAF declined to accept the ruling and ordered Richardson to an arbitration hearing, which had been scheduled for Saturday. Richardson, who maintains his innocence, said British officials asked for the postponement to give him time to produce new evidence to clear his name. Cuba's Javier Sotomayor, the world record holder in the high jump, leaped 7 feet, 5} inches to place third in the meet at Yokohama, Japan, the last before the Olympics. Russian Vyacheslav Voronin won with a jump of 7-7}. In the pole vault, world record-holder Sergei Bubka failed three times on his initial attempt at 18-{. American Allen Johnson, the 1996 gold medalist in the 110-meter hurdles, pulled up with a hamstring injury.

SOCCER: FIFA, the sport's world governing body, approved the Canberra venue after a frantic re-sodding of the field. Large sections of grass imported from northern Australia died in the cool climate.

BANNED OFFICIAL THREATENS SUIT: The Hong Kong basketball official barred from Australia as a security threat said he has done nothing wrong and will sue the government if he is not allowed to attend the Olympics, the South China Morning Post reported today. Carl Ching, vice president of the sport's international federation, told the newspaper he would pay $1-million to anyone who could prove he was involved in criminal activities.

In 1994, Ching was barred from Canada for the World Basketball Championships under immigration rules about security threats and criminals.