Nehemiah, Gault Turned Down by IAAF

Associated Press

The International Amateur Athletic Federation on Sunday rejected applications by National Football League players Renaldo Nehemiah and Willie Gault to have their amateur status reinstated.

IAAF President Primo Nebiolo said the council decided that Nehemiah and Gault would remain "ineligible because we want to maintain the amateur status." He said Nehemiah, the world record-holder in the 110-meter hurdles and a wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers for the past three years, "knew very well what the repercussions would be when he signed a professionalcontract."

Nebiolo added that the same applied to Gault, a Chicago Bears' wide receiver.

Nehemiah has expressed the desire to compete again in international track events. His 1981 record of 12.93 seconds still stands, and he is the only hurdler to break 13 seconds in the event.

Nebiolo told a press conference that Nehemiah's application would not be reconsidered when the IAAF meets again in Canberra, Australia, later this year.

Nehemiah was on his honeymoon and could not be reached for comment.

"I'm sure that's not the end of it," said 49er spokesman Jerry Walker. "Renaldo has been fighting for three years to get his amateur status back to run the hurdles. He doesn't think he should be considered a pro when he is not (in that sport)."

The decision to reject the former track stars' applications came in the final session of the three-day meeting.

Asked if there was a threat to boycott the 1988 Seoul Olympics, Nebiolo replied there were "no rumors of a boycott."

The IAAF also ruled that the track and field events at the Seoul Olympics would be held daily between 9 a.m and 5 p.m. local time, and not be broken up during the day as they were in Los Angeles, where there were five-hour breaks between morning and afternoon sessions. Nebiolo said this time-table was constructed in such a way that no finals will be held in the morning, with the exception of the women's marathon and the men's 50-kilometer walk.

He said the schedules were based on the climatic conditions which will prevail at the time of the 1988 Games, the patterns of daily life in South Korea, hours of daylight and the Korean public's interest in track and field.

The scheduling could have a profound effect on negotiations for American television coverage of the Olympics. The scheduled times of the track and field finals in Seoul probably would not meet with the approval of the U.S. television networks. Final events held in the afternoon Korean time would be late in the evening on the West Coast and early in the morning on the East Coast, which figures to displease many advertisers.

The council scheduled the World Cup competition for Canberra in October. Expected to compete are the world's leading track and field stars representing eight nations including the Soviet Union, United States and East Germany.

The 1987 World Championships were given to Rome and will be held from Aug. 29 through Sept. 6.

The council also chose Indianapolis over Budapest as the site for the 1987 World Indoor Championships, to be held March 7-8.

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