News for October 17, 1997

Lance to tell all Today

Star American cyclist Lance Armstrong, recovering from testicular cancer, has signed with a new team.

The 26-year-old former world champion recently split with the Cofidis cycling team, and he is to disclose his new team _ believed to be the U.S. Postal Service cycling team _ at a news conference Thursday.

Last week, Cofidis said it would not sign Armstrong for next year. The cyclist's agent, Bill Stapleton, said Armstrong was ``deeply outraged'' by the move.

Cofidis, based in Lille, France, accused Armstrong of ``not playing fair towards a partner who always supported him more as a friend than a sponsor.'' Stapleton called the charges ``senseless and malicious personal attacks.'

Cofidis originally signed the Texan for the 1997 season before Armstrong was diagnosed with cancer, which sidelined him for 1997.

Armstrong's contract was worth a reported dlrs 2 million over two years. It was renegotiated after his diagnosis, and he did not race at all this year although getting a salary throughout his illness.

Armstrong was a rising star in cycling when the cancer was discovered. He was the 1993 world road champion, a two-time Tour de France stage winner and two-time Tour DuPont champ.

Asian Games

Security concerns overshadowed the race for gold medals at the Southeast Asia Games on Thursday as the military and police prepared to deal with huge and potentially violent crowds.

The spokesman for games security and Jakarta's military, Lt. Col. D.J. Nahrowi, told athletes that they were safe and there was no cause for alarm.

Indonesia's soccer federation has warned that as many as 200,000 local fans may arrive at the Senayan Stadium for the host's semifinal against Singapore.

The stadium only seats 110,000 and trouble in the stands in Indonesia's previous game caused a temporary stoppage of play against the Philippines.

Nahrowi's guarantee means little to some athletes here, particularly the Philippines' women's volleyball team.

Point guard Susie Bambico was struck on the forehead by a cassette tape case hurled from the stands after a 56-49 win over Indonesia on Tuesday.

Fans rained debris down on the Philippines players after a scuffle broke out between the two teams.

Bambico's face was covered in blood. She received stitches to the wound and will not play again here.

``The security officers did nothing to stop (the fans),'' Bambico told the Associated Press on Wednesday. ``They just watched it happen.''

Nahrowi said that so far, ``we have provided appropriate security for both home and foreign athletes.

``They should not be afraid because we have done the best that we can for their safety and convenience,'' he said. ``We have, since the beginning, been able to predict what will probably happen (in) the events in the games.''

For Philippines' center Erlyn Destacamento, Tuesday's violence was unpredictable and frightening.

``We are really afraid,'' she said. ``We can't play too hard because we are afraid of the crowd.''

Singapore's soccer players are also expecting a rowdy reception against Indonesia but coach Barry Whitbread is doing everything he can to make the impending clash seem exciting, rather than overwhelming.

``I've got to convince these players that it is going to be fantastic,'' Whitbread said. ``I mean, do they want to play football in this kind of atmosphere or (in front of) three men and a dog?''

Malaysia won the first medal on Thursday's program when Sarav Govindasamy broke a long-standing mark in winning the 50-kilometer walk.

Govindasamy covered the road course in 4 hours, 14 minutes, 4 seconds, as the top six competitors finished under the previous SEA Games best of 4:53.16 set by Burma's Yan Min in 1973.

Indonesian cycling star Nurhayati added a fourth gold Thursday when she won the women's points race.

Nurhayati has set herself a target of winning five golds at the games and won the individual pursuit and sprint on Wednesday after the 20-kilometer time trial on Sunday. Singapore's Bernard Wong won the men's points race Thursday.

Indonesia holds a commanding lead on the golds standings with 96 of the 222 decided by Thursday afternoon. The games have a record 438 gold-producing events, though more gold will be doled out because of ties.

Trailing Indonesia was the defending SEA Games champion Thailand, which had 46 golds. Malaysia had 24, the Philippines 21, Vietnam 18, Singapore 13 and Burma four.

Brunei, Laos and Cambodia had yet to win gold.