Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Last of BALCO Four ousted

Olympic Track Trials

By Rob Gloster
The Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The last of the BALCO Four is gone.

Alvin Harrison, one of four athletes who faces a lifetime ban if found guilty of using steroids obtained from the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, failed to qualify Monday for the final of the men's 400 meters at the U.S. Olympic trials.

He joined fellow accused dopers Tim Montgomery and Chryste Gaines in failing to qualify for the U.S. team for the Athens Games. The fourth accused doper, Michelle Collins, pulled out of the women's 400 claiming a hamstring injury. Harrison finished seventh in his semifinal, fading after being among the leaders until the final straightaway.

By failing to qualify, the four accused dopers saved the U.S. Olympic Committee the embarrassment of having to remove them from the team if arbitrators rule they are guilty.

In other action Monday night, Jearl Miles-Clark earned a trip to her fifth Olympics by winning the women's 800 meters - but her sister-in-law got perhaps an even bigger prize after finishing third.

Miles-Clark, 37, finished in 1 minute, 59.06 seconds to hold off Nicole Teter and sister-in-law Hazel Clark - whose fiance proposed to her immediately after the race.

Hazel Clark appeared to be in shock when she heard the proposal from Wenston Riley, who gave her a ring in a very public spot just off the track. Riley had informed reporters of his plans before the race.

"She asked me yesterday, You're not going to propose to me at this meet, are you?,'" said Riley, who first met Clark when the two of them were stopped at a traffic light in Gainesville, Fla., four years ago.

Miles-Clark has won two gold and one silver relay medals at previous Olympics.

She did not compete as a relay alternate at the 1988 Seoul Games. She ran in the 400 at the 1992 Barcelona Games and the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, and in the 800 at the 2000 Sydney Games. She also ran on relay squads at the last three Games.

In the men's 800, Jonathan Johnson won in 1:44.77 to earn an Olympic spot with Khadevis Robinson and Derrick Peterson. James Parker won the men's hammer throw.

Marion Jones, who failed to qualify for the Olympics in the 100 on Saturday, was to begin her bid later Monday night to claim a spot in the long jump. She is by far the best American long jumper.

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