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Sidelined Boldon Doing TV Work

August 21, 1999

SEVILLE, Spain (AP) _ Ato Boldon is rarely at a loss for words, so he’s found the perfect way to fill his free time this week: TV commentary.

Boldon isn’t defending his 200-meter title at the World Championships because of a hamstring injury, so he prepared for his side job Saturday by scouting the 100-meter qualifying heats and handicapping the field.

He likes record-holder Maurice Greene’s chances in the dash. No surprise there.

But Boldon, whose mouth can run as fast as his legs, isn’t sure his Los Angeles training partner can pull off a rare 100-200 sprint double.

``The 200 is definitely the most challenging for (Greene) and the 4x100 (relay) is probably the easiest _ if he gets the stick, they win,″ said Boldon, sporting a stud earring the size of a nickel in his left lobe.

``The 100 he’s going to win by 2 or 3 meters, but the 200 is going to be close. These guys are not going to let him have the 200. I don’t think he has the experience in the 200 to really blow them away.″

Boldon, working for broadcaster Eurosport at the championships, said he’s troubled by the mounting number of doping cases shadowing the championships.

``It’s too bad we can’t talk about results more than doping. But I don’t think that will change as long as this sport is the way it is right now,″ Boldon said.

Track and field has been shaken in recent weeks by positive tests from such big-name athletes as Javier Sotomayor, Merlene Ottey and Linford Christie.

Boldon said doping exams using blood samples, which the IOC said Friday will at least be tested at the Sydney Olympics, should be instituted immediately.

``Why don’t they start it tomorrow?″ he asked. ``What are we waiting for?″


GREENE WITH ENVY: South African sprinter Bradley Agnew had the best view in the house for Greene’s opening heat victory: the adjacent lane.

Greene took it easy and came home in 10.30 seconds, the 21st-best time of the 10 heats, but enough to impress Agnew.

``It was an amazing experience,″ Agnew said. ``In June, I was watching him in awe as he broke the world record, then a few weeks later there he is, in the lane next to me.

``He pulled me for the first five meters, then put on the afterburners and accelerated away.″

Agnew finished fifth in 10.51, but squeezed into the second round because his time was one of the 10 fastest among runners who did not place in the top three in their heats.


INTO THE FIRE: Spaniards call the southern city of Seville the ``frying pan″ for its blazing summers. Athletes here started to see why Saturday, as temperatures reached into the 90s.

``It’s getting hot. I hope it’s not going to get worse,″ said French sprint star Christine Arron, who won her opening heat in the 100.

``It’s burning up already,″ said Marion Jones, who opened her bid for four gold medals by competing in qualifying for the long jump and the dash.

She reached Monday’s long jump final by registering 6.81 meters (22 feet, 4 1-4 inches) on her second effort.

``I wish I could have done it on the first jump,″ Jones said, ``so I could get out of here and take a little nap back at the hotel.″

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