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Compromise eases dispute over hockey at Olympics

The International Olympic Committee has settled for now the question of Olympic hockey eligibility, ruling out the use of any player who ever signed a National Hockey League contract but otherwise allowing national committees to determine their own definition of an amateur player.

The decision by the IOC's eligibility committee amounted to a compromise that pleased neither Canada, which loses three players, nor the United States, which had called for an even stricter interpretation of the rule prohibiting use of professionals. The Canadians and Americans, who meet in tonight's opening round, have been debating the issue heatedly for some time, but it was an official protest by Finland which actually led to Monday's ruling.

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