- The Washington Times - Friday, January 18, 2002

From combined dispatches
SALT LAKE CITY The simmering dispute between bobsled driver Jean Racine and brakewoman Jen Davidson is headed for arbitration.
U.S. bobsled federation director Matt Roy said yesterday he expects the dispute to go before the American Arbitration Association, which decides eligibility issues within the U.S. Olympic Committee.
Davidson's attorney, Mark Gaylord, said no hearing date has been set but one could be scheduled within three days. The USOC has a Jan. 28 deadline to submit names of athletes for next month's Olympics to the International Olympic Committee.
Davidson held a conference call last evening where she said Racine led her to believe their partnership was secure, then surprised her by choosing former heptathlete Gea Johnson as her new partner.
In a grievance filed with the USOC, Davidson asked for a race-off with Johnson to settle the dispute.
"I'm not truly going to be happy with this situation until I have the chance to prove myself," Davidson said.
Racine declined comment.
"Jean is a little crispy right now," said Evan Morgenstein, an agent who represents both women. "She's being advised not to say anything more until the grievance is over. It doesn't behoove her to say anything. It's got a life of its own."
Racine dropped Davidson in December after the pair had competed together for four years with spectacular success. The move came only a week before the Olympic trials and stunned Davidson.
Ashcroft plans tour
Attorney General John Ashcroft will spend the weekend touring Olympic venues in Utah and inspecting security preparations.
During his visit, Ashcroft will meet with Gov. Mike Leavitt, Olympic organizers and state and federal security officials. He also will tour each of the Olympic venues and get a briefing on security preparations at each one, said Justice Department spokeswoman Lori McMahon.
"The trip has been designed to give the attorney general a firsthand look at the ongoing security measures for the Olympics," McMahon said. "How is this venue secure? And what are we doing? And if a crisis happens at this particular venue, what do we do and how do we take care of that?"
The Feb. 8-24 Winter Olympics will draw an estimated 70,000 visitors a day, with 2,500 athletes competing in 70 events at 10 venues.
It is the first time Ashcroft has visited the Olympic venues. Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge visited Salt Lake City and the venues earlier this month.
Parsley wins skeleton berth
ST. MORITZ, Switzerland Lea Ann Parsley earned a spot on the U.S. Olympic team by finishing second in the final race of the Skeleton World Cup.
Parsley finished 0.01 seconds behind Michelle Kelly of Canada.
That result and Tricia Stumpf's fifth-place finish moved the United States into a tie for second place in the team rankings.

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