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Louganis Not in Danger of Losing Medals: Official

Times Staff Writer

A U.S. Diving official said Wednesday that Greg Louganis is in no danger of losing his Olympic gold medals because of financial information revealed in one of two unrelated legal battles the diver is having with two former managers.

Todd Smith, executive director of U.S. Diving, which governs the sport nationally, said that the organization had determined that Louganis was eligible as an amateur by both national and international standards and therefore “his Olympic gold medals should not be questioned.” Louganis swept gold medals in the three-meter springboard and 10-meter platform in the Olympics at Seoul last September and at Los Angeles in 1984.

Louganis’ amateur status would be in jeopardy if he accepted money directly from promoters or manufacturers instead of depositing the money in his approved trust fund and then withdrawing funds for training and living expenses. A U.S. Diving spokesman said there is no cap on the trust fund, which is monitored by that organization.

Louganis’ amateur status had been called into question during a contract dispute with Leonard Grant, a former manager who has not represented Louganis in almost five years.

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Grant is appealing a ruling by a state arbitrator. That case is currently being heard by Judge Carlos E. Velarde in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Louganis is also involved in legal battle involving his most recent manager, Jim Babbitt, who he fired March 13. Superior Court Judge Dzintra Janavs on Tuesday granted a temporary restraining order requiring Babbitt to stay at least 500 feet from Louganis.

Babbitt has been Louganis’ business manager for six years and the two have shared a Malibu home for four years. Janavs did not order Babbitt to vacate the home.

A Superior Court hearing has been scheduled April 12 to determine whether a preliminary injunction will be issued.

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Louganis is already on record saying that Babbitt had threatened to expose “confidential and private facts” about Louganis unless Louganis agreed to meet Babbitt’s demands for the position as manager, 50% of his present and future earnings and the deed to his Malibu home.

Babbitt’s attorney, Gloria Allred, said Wednesday: “There is much more to the case than appears on the surface. We look forward to the day when the whole truth can be told.”


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