No Stars and Stripes at Olympics

Bowing to the wishes of the White House, the International Olympic Committee said Thursday it will not use the American flag or the US national anthem at Sunday's closing ceremonies.

Instead the Los Angeles city flag and the Olympic anthem will be played.

At the start of the Moscow games, the White House wrote to the outgoing Olympic president, Lord Killanin, to protest the planned hoisting of the Stars and Stripes and the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the closing ceremony.

The committee had said this would be done under Olympic protocol because the United States is the host country for the next Olympics.

The White House letter said use of the flag and anthem would be "inappropriate" because of the US-led boycott of the games to protest the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, well-placed Olympic sources said the organization has requested an investigation of complaints of Russian cheating at the Moscow games -- including charges that the doors at Lenin Stadium were opened to give Soviet javelin throwers a head wind.

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