Gault, Harrell will try again for bobsled team

January 18, 1992

An 11th-hour decision by a New York state appeals court yesterday will give professional football players Willie Gault and Greg Harrell a second chance to make the U.S. Olympic bobsled team.

The Appellate Division of state Supreme Court overturned a lower court ruling that ordered a halt to new push trials for the team this weekend.

The unanimous ruling by the four-member, mid-level appeals court will allow the pair to participate in another round of 1992 Olympic trials today and tomorrow at Altenberg, Germany.

The U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation must submit the names of the team members to the U.S. Olympic Committee by Monday.

Gault, Harrell and track star Edwin Moses claimed they weren't properly informed of the schedule and regulations for the original Olympic bobsled trials at Lake Placid last July. Among those earning one of the United States' eight spots there was former Navy football player Bob Weissenfels.

Lawyers said Gault, Harrell and Moses weren't told of changes in the trial rules, such as placement of a mark for where they had to stop pushing the sled.

* The breakaway Yugoslav republics of Croatia and Slovenia have been invited to send separate teams to the Winter Olympics.

The republics, which would compete on their own for the first time, received the invitations and provisional recognition from International Olympic Committee officials. The games begin Feb. 8 at Albertville, France.

Provisional recognition was granted by IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch and four of his deputies. Swift movement by the IOC, which meets in full session Feb. 5-6, was considered necessary to allow Slovenia to send a team to Albertville.

It is very rare that a session overrules the decision of a fact-finding committee.

* The former Soviet republics will be asked to send a unified team to the Summer Games in Barcelona, Samaranch said.

Samaranch will try to reach a formal agreement on a unified team when he flies to Moscow today to meet with Russian president Boris Yeltsin and Russian sports officials.

The former Soviet republics already have agreed to send a unified team to the Winter Olympics next month in Albertville, France. The unified winter team will compete under the Olympic flag and use the Olympic anthem.

* Jim Holland had the two longest jumps to win the first Olympic jumping tryout at Howelsen Hill in Steamboat Springs, Colo. Holland, 24, of Norwich, Vt., went 90 and 85 meters to compile 214.0 points. Mark Konopacke of Kingsford, Mich., was second with jumps of 84 and 84.5 meters for 196.1 points.

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