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Baseball could be out of the Olympics after this summer if the IOC can't find a way to have MLB players participate in the Sydney Games in 2000, according to the BOSTON GLOBE. USA Baseball Head Dick Case: "If we don't get the pros like they do in basketball, we have a chance of going down." Case noted Sydney is not "hot to trot" about baseball as they still have to build a stadium. The major problem for MLB is that the 2000 Games will take place in September, during pennant races (John Powers, BOSTON GLOBE, 2/18).
ACOG got the "highest marks possible" from the IOC's oversight group Tuesday after two days of reports on the final months of preparations for the Games, according to the ATLANTA CONSTITUTION. IOC Coordination Commission head Dick Pound said ACOG has dealt satisfactorily with such concerns as transportation and its marketing agreement with the city of Atlanta. The IOC is confident ACOG will reach its revenue target of $1.7B, but Pound said organizers can't relax until Aug. 5, the day after the Closing Ceremonies. Pound: "ACOG will be managing its pennies, much less its dollars, until the end." Pound also said IOC's focus will get "sharper and sharper" as the Opening Ceremonies approach (Turner & Harris, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 2/21). DEAL WITH CITY: The Atlanta City Council on Monday adopted an agreement with ACOG aimed at protecting taxpayers from paying for any extra costs of staging the Games, according to the ATLANTA CONSTITUTION. The agreement calls for ACOG to provide $8M in cash and another $1.5M in goods to the city in return for such service as police, fire and sanitation (Charmange Helton, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 2/21).