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TWO DROPPED AFTER FAILED TESTS

A Bulgarian weightlifter was stripped of his silver medal and a hammer thrower from Belarus was kicked out of the Olympics in the first positive doping cases of the games.

The International Olympic Committee said today that it had taken away the silver in the 56-kilogram (123-pound) weightlifting class from Ivan Ivanov, who tested positive for furosemide, a diuretic.

Ivanov, a gold medalist at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and former four-time world champion, kissed his barbell after he had clinched the medal Saturday, the first full day of competition.

The other banned athlete was Vadim Devyatovsky, a hammer thrower from Belarus, who tested positive for components of the banned steroid nandrolone in an out-of-competition sample on Sept. 12 in the athletes' village.
OK, so he barely survived his first 100-meter freestyle race. Eric Moussambani is aiming for a medal at the next Olympics, and he has a new bodysuit to help him.

The most unlikely hero of the Sydney Games picked up the suit today, a day after he struggled through the preliminary rounds of the 100 free and posted a time more than a minute slower than the top qualifiers.

"The last 15 meters were very difficult," said the 22-year-old from Equatorial Guinea, who brought the crowd cheering to its feet -- even though he looked like he might drown.

"It was a great feeling," Moussambani said.

Moussambani was a wildcard entry in the race, part of a program of swimming's governing body that encourages the sport in countries where it is not widely practiced.

He has been swimming only since January and before Tuesday had never raced in a 50-meter pool.

Undeterred by that struggle, he was back in the pool today with a new weapon -- a sleek bodysuit from its maker, Speedo.

It's "very easy. I am going fast," Moussambani told reporters after puffing and splashing his way down the 50-meter pool in his new suit. Other swimmers clapped and one man even challenged him to a race. Wisely, Moussambani declined.

In his Olympic heat, Moussambani was timed at 1 minute, 52.72 seconds. The fastest qualifier was Pieter van den Hoogenband of the Netherlands at 48.64 seconds.
Two miners' lanterns that carried the Olympic flame from Athens to Sydney's Olympic Stadium have disappeared, and police fear they may have been stolen. The lanterns contained backup flames used to light the torch on several occasions when the flame went out.
Lagging TV ratings through four nights of the Olympics mean viewers probably will see less action and more commercials.

NBC is averaging a 14.3 national rating with a 25 share, well below the final number produced by any Summer Games and 11 percent short of what the network promised advertisers.

"Not as many people are tuning in as was projected and there's a combination of factors that has led to that," NBC Sports Vice President Kevin Sullivan said Tuesday.

Now the network most likely will add extra commercials to its broadcasts to satisfy advertisers.

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