USOC says Hamm being pressured

Aug. 27, 2004 at 10:09 AM
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ATHENS, Greece, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- U.S. Olympic officials said Friday the International Gymnastics Federation had pressured Paul Hamm to give up his all-around gold medal.

The USOC announced, however, Hamm would keep the medal.

A scoring error in the men's all-around final cost South Korean Yant Tae Young a tenth of a point, thus costing him the gold Hamm was awarded.

Gymnastics officials admitted the error, but did not change the scoring.

A letter sent to the USOC from federation president Bruno Grandi said that despite the error, the Korean was the, "true winner of the event."

"If you would return your medal to the Korean, then such an action would be recognized as the ultimate demonstration of fair play by the whole world."

In a statement, the USOC said it found the letter, "a blatant and inappropriate attempt on the part of FIG to once again shift responsibility for its own mistakes and instead pressure Mr. Hamm into resolving what has become and embarrassing situation for the federation.

"The USOC finds this request to be improper, outrageous and so far beyond the bounds of what is acceptable that it refuses to transmit the letter to Mr. Hamm."

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