- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 12, 2008

From combined dispatches

BEIJING | In the days since a knifing attack at a Beijing tourist attraction, the coach of the U.S. men’s volleyball team said his family has been consumed with the shock of his father-in-law’s death and with arranging care for his severely wounded mother-in-law.

Hugh McCutcheon said he has been helping his wife, Elisabeth Bachman, a former Olympian, “talk through” the grief. Beyond that, he said he realized the attack has affected his men’s team, which worked hard to qualify for the Beijing Olympics, and the women’s team, including Bachman’s teammates from the 2004 Athens Games.

“The sphere of influence of this has been vast,” a gaunt, emotionally raw McCutcheon said in an interview Monday, his first public remarks on the attack and one of his few moments away from the hospital in past days.

“It hurts. I think it’s something that no one should ever have to go through,” McCutcheon said. “But life’s not fair, so it’s never going to be about that at the end of the day. It happened, and it seems that the sooner we can come to grips with that and process it, the better off we’re going to be.”

The stabbings cast a shadow on the Olympics, coming a half-day after a spectacular opening ceremony in a city where violent acts are rare, especially against foreigners. It embarrassed the Chinese government. And it saddened the U.S. Olympic team and many in Lakeville, Minn., where Todd and Barbara Bachman are from.

McCutcheon said much remained unknown about the attack, which also wounded a Chinese tour guide. The assailant, identified by police as a distraught unemployed ex-factory worker, killed himself, jumping off the upper floor of the 13th-century Drum Tower, where the attack took place. Elisabeth Bachman witnessed the stabbings.

Her mother has been too weak to be questioned, McCutcheon said, though her condition was upgraded from critical to serious but stable Monday.

Spanish cyclist dismissed

BEIJING | In the first official doping case of the Beijing Olympics, Spanish cyclist Maria Isabel Moreno was kicked out of the games Monday after testing positive for EPO.

Moreno, who was to compete in the women’s road race and individual time trial, was tested in the athletes’ village July 31 and left China later the same day before learning the result, the International Olympic Committee said.

IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies said Moreno’s sample came back positive for EPO, a blood-boosting hormone that enhances endurance and has been at the center of numerous doping scandals in cycling in recent years.

The IOC expelled Moreno from the games, revoked her accreditation and asked cycling’s world governing body to follow up for any further sanctions. Athletes found guilty of doping typically get a two-year ban.

Iraq, IOC settle dispute

BAGHDAD | Iraq’s government and the International Olympic Committee agreed Monday on a process to govern the election of a new Iraqi Olympic body after a dispute prevented some Iraqi athletes from competing in the Beijing Games.

The agreement, reached on the sidelines of the games in Beijing, is the latest chapter in the three-month dispute between Iraq and the IOC.

It began when Iraq’s Shiite-led government dismissed the country’s national Olympic committee, accusing its members of corruption and replacing them with a team led by a Cabinet minister. The committee had included several holdovers from the Saddam Hussein era, when Sunni Arabs had the greatest role.

The IOC said the move amounted to government interference and in May suspended Iraq’s membership.

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