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Crash, bang!

BMX rider Squel Stein of Brazil crashed heavily during the semi-finals of the Olympic BMX competition and was carried off the course on a stretcher on Friday.

Stein fell off her bike after she landed on the grass following a big jump in the first half of the course at the London Velopark.

Brazilian Olympic committee spokesman Christian Dawes said Stein will undergo medical exams at the Olympic village clinic. “She just arrived in the village, she can move her arms and legs and can speak,” he said. “She will undergo scans and we'll then be able to assess her condition.” The 21-year-old Stein secured her best result in a major competition earlier this year when she reached the world championships final.

Hamilton's woes

Just days before the eight-year deadline expires, the IOC formally stripped American cyclist Tyler Hamilton of his 2004 gold for doping on Friday and awarded the medal to Russian rider Viatcheslav Ekimov, who now becomes a three-time Olympic champion. The IOC executive board notified Hamilton — a former teammate of Lance Armstrong — that he has been disqualified from his victory in the road race time trial at the Athens Games.

Its a first

Amina El Sergany does not need a referee’s platform to be noticed on a beach volleyball court.

The first Muslim woman to officiate the sport at the Olympics, El Sergany worked the London Games dressed in a hijab that, when covered by the standard referee’s uniform, showed only her face and hands. From her elevated position beside the net, she stood in stark contrast to the beach party wardrobe worn by the Horse Guards Parade Dance team and the athletes themselves. “It doesn’t matter to me. It is normal,” the Egyptian said.

Austria's lament

Days before the London Olympics draw to a close, Austria was already lamenting its biggest washout in half a century, with no medals to show for and poor performances by some of its biggest hopes. “Biggest Olympic disaster now official,” a headline in a tabloid, after the country’s last big hope — canoe-kayak pair Yvonne Schuring and Viktoria Schwarz — finished fifth in Thursday’s final.

Partner's warned

An over-excited Olympics fan was cautioned by police after he was caught painting a post box gold. He got carried away with Olympic fever and decided to give a Royal Mail pillar box in Belvedere, south London, the treatment reserved for the hometowns of gold medallists.