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Originally published Wednesday, July 30, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Olympics | Gymnast Morgan Hamm gets OK to compete

The International Gymnastics Federation said Tuesday it will not appeal Hamm's punishment by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee already had said the warning did not affect Hamm's spot on the team for the next month's Beijing Games.

The Associated Press

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland — International gymnastics officials won't disrupt Morgan Hamm's trip to the Beijing Olympics.

The International Gymnastics Federation said Tuesday it will not appeal Hamm's punishment by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee already had said the warning did not affect Hamm's spot on the team for the next month's Beijing Games. The gymnast arrived Tuesday in San Jose, Calif., to go through processing with the rest of the U.S. men's team.

"It's been a long process and now I can concentrate on my gymnastics, compete with my team and hopefully bring back a medal for the USA," Hamm said. "It was a fair decision in my mind, and I feel like all the steps were followed. In the end, the right thing to do was to let me compete."

The FIG's announcement came a day after Hamm's twin brother, Paul, withdrew from the Beijing Games, saying he won't be healthy enough to compete. Besides persistent pain from the right hand he broke, the reigning Olympic all-around champion has a strained left rotator cuff. Raj Bhavsar took Paul Hamm's place.

USADA announced July 3 that Morgan Hamm had been warned for a May 24 positive test for glucocorticosteroid, a cortisone-like anti-inflammatory. The drug is allowed if an athlete gets a therapeutic-use exemption, but Hamm had failed to do that.

Hamm said he got the shot May 2 from his doctor after taping, ultrasound and other therapies failed to reduce pain and swelling in his left ankle.

Attorney: Hardy's appeal to be heard

World-champion swimmer Jessica Hardy's appeal of a positive drug test will be heard by an American Arbitration Association panel before the Olympics, said her attorney, Howard Jacobs.

The date and location were not disclosed, under agreement between Hardy and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

Hardy's urine sample taken at the U.S. Olympic trials tested positive for clenbuterol, a banned stimulant.

Notes

Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia surpassed her world record in the pole vault to highlight the Herculis Super Grand Prix meet in Monte Carlo, Monaco. Isinbayeva cleared 16 feet, 6-½ inches, beating the mark at 16-0 she set in Rome earlier this month.

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Asafa Powell of Jamaica ran his fastest 100 meters of the season, 9.82 seconds.

• Marathon world-record holder Paula Radcliffe will join the British team this weekend in a bid to recover from an injury in time to compete in Beijing.

The 34-year-old Radcliffe, who is trying to overcome a stress fracture in her thigh, will travel to the British training camp in Macau on Sunday.

Yao Ming, a standout for the NBA Houston Rockets, scored 21 points in 28 minutes to lead China past Angola 83-74 in exhibition basketball, another step in the center's return from a foot injury.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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