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Originally published Saturday, August 16, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Guest columnist

DQ'd athlete lacked broadcast-enhancing story

A member of the U.S. Olympic diving team was disqualified from competition today when it was learned that he did not have a sufficiently...

Syndicated Columnist

A member of the U.S. Olympic diving team was disqualified from competition today when it was learned that he did not have a sufficiently compelling human story line to exploit on the NBC telecast of the worldwide sporting event.

Tracy Klujian, the expelled diver, was not raised by a single mother, never had a career-threatening injury, and did not overcome a personal tragedy of any kind before making the Olympic diving team, U.S. Olympic officials revealed today.

"Had Tracy been involved in an organ donation, as either a donor or a recipient, that would have been acceptable to us," a diving team spokesman told reporters. "However, he was not."

According to sources close to the diving team, Klujian had concealed the fact that he comes from an intact, middle-class family that never lost its home to a flood, tornado or typhoon. But what may have sealed Klujian's doom, sources said, was his utter lack of a gravely ill family member to win a medal for.

"Tracy did his best to hide his background from team officials," one source said. "But when the truth came out, he was finished."

Speaking to reporters in Beijing, NBC sports chief Dick Ebersol was even less charitable, terming Klujian's actions "a reprehensible betrayal."

"We do our best to check out all of the athletes to make sure that their backgrounds are full of compelling human drama, but we can't catch everything," Ebersol said. "This is a case of one really bad guy exploiting the system."

Humorist Andy Borowitz is author of "The Republican Playbook." To find out more about Borowitz and read his past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com

2008, Creators Syndicate

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