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Shot put loses favorite

C.J. Hunter's injured knee will keep the gold medal favorite from competing in the shot put at Sydney.

Hunter, the 1999 world champion and husband of sprinter Marion Jones, pulled out of the Olympics on Monday. He injured his left knee lifting weights in August and had arthroscopic surgery for torn meniscus Sept. 3.

Taking his place is 1996 silver medalist John Godina, the world champion in 1995 and '97. He finished fourth at the trials in July. He made the team in the discus.

Hunter recently was listed as day to day. After consulting with Dr. Tim Taft, he decided to pull out. "Unfortunately, injuries are part of the game," Hunter, 31, said in a statement.

BASEBALL: Rikkert Faneyte drove in three runs with a bases-loaded double and pitched the ninth inning to pick up the save as the Netherlands handed the United States its first pre-Olympic loss, 4-3, on Australia's Gold Coast.

Starter John Rauch took the loss for the United States (4-1), giving up all four runs in five innings. Brad Wilkerson had three hits, including a double, and a stolen base. Devil Rays minor-leaguer Brent Abernathy was 0-for-2, and prospect Bobby Seay pitched the ninth and allowed two hits.

BASKETBALL: Both U.S. teams made a pre-dawn exit today from their Melbourne hotel, site of the World Economic Forum. Protesters made coming and going to practices almost impossible.

DRUGS: Dr. Peter Larkins, a member of the medical team advising the Sydney organizers, said a much-heralded test for the performance drug EPO will be "totally ineffective." The test can detect use only within three days of a sample being taken. The International Olympic Committee says it's satisfied with the test. Canada track coach Brent McFarlane said the 30-plus drug tests conducted on his team since it arrived in Australia for the Games is disrupting its training. "I don't know how many times you can pee in a bottle," he said. "I think we are going overboard right now."

GYMNASTICS: Morgan White removed herself from the U.S. women's team over the weekend because of a fractured left foot.

White, 17, told the Web site NBCOlympics.com that the foot was painful before the Olympic trials last month. Multiple examinations and X-rays did not reveal the fracture.

When the pain persisted after arrival in Australia, White saw a U.S. Olympic Committee doctor, who diagnosed the fracture.

"I was at the point where I couldn't handle (the pain)," she said. "I just knew I had to stop."

Replacing White is alternate Tasha Schwikert, 15.

TENNIS: Germany's Anke Huber has withdrawn because of a tendon injury in her right arm sustained during the recent U.S. Open.

UZBEKISTAN'S TROUBLES: Uzbekistan asked the Australian government to reverse its ban of boxing official Gafur Rakhimov from the country because of allegations he has ties to organized crime.

The government will "be responding fairly promptly," spokeswoman Pru Goward said.

Also, Sabirjan Ruziev, president of the Uzbekistan Olympic committee, said a track coach stopped at the Sydney airport with vials containing human growth hormone uses the drug for a skin disorder that causes baldness.

The hormone is a muscle-building drug banned by the International Olympic Committee.

Djamshiddin Yusupov, a doctor with the Uzbek Olympic committee, said Somatotropine, the drug taken for the disease Alopecia capitis totalis contains the hormone.

IOC medical director Patrick Schamasch confirmed that Somatotropine is used to treat the disorder.

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