Steinbrenner criticizes U.S. no-shows Track-and-field stars bypassing Havana PAN AM GAMES

August 05, 1991|By Bill Glauber | Bill Glauber,Sun Staff Correspondent

HAVANA -- George Steinbrenner is mad as hell and won't take it anymore.

So what else is new?

The United States Olympic Committee vice president and banished New York Yankees owner, sounded off on the lack of U.S. big-name track-and-field talent at the Pan Am Games yesterday.

"I think our athletes owe it to this country to compete in the Pan Am Games and the Olympics at a minimum," he said. "I'm tired of seeing our athletes go to Monte Carlo, to this place and that place."

Steinbrenner was incensed that 110-meter hurdler Tony Dees, a member of the Florida Clippers Track Club, skipped the Pan Am Games. Steinbrenner is a major Clippers sponsor.

"A week ago, he gave me a sad excuse about his leg bothering him, and he ran in Monte Carlo," Steinbrenner said. "Now that young man has a problem, and so does his agent. It's time someone in this country in track and field take a stand . . . so these athletes can understand if they do have a contractual obligation, they darn well better take care of it.

"It doesn't seem too much to ask to give us two meets when they come up," Steinbrenner added. "I'm not critical of the people who are running here. I'm not saying these people are no good, but if you qualify in the nationals, you should be on the team."

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