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Vince Matthews’ Olympic ban reversed

Vincent Matthews, Wayne Collett

(Original Caption) MUNICH: Kenya’s Julius Sang (R), unidentified Olympic officials and medalbearers (L) stands at stiff attention during the playing of the American national anthem at the awards ceremony here 9/7 following the Olympic 400-meter run for men. At center, the American first and second placers, Vincent Matthews (hand on hip) and Wayne Collett (barefoot, holding shoes) stand at ease and chat.

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The lifetime Olympic ban for Vince Matthews, the 400m gold medalist from the 1972 Munich Games, has been lifted.

The International Olympic Committee Executive Board said that Matthews would be accredited for future Olympics if requested, U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland confirmed Monday.

“The IOC sent a letter that does reverse the suspension of Vince Matthews,” Hirshland said. “This is good news, and a long time coming.”

The IOC has not commented on the reason for the reversal.

Matthews, now 74, and silver medalist Wayne Collett were banned from the Olympics for life by the IOC one day after a medal stand protest at the Munich Games detailed here. They were not stripped of medals.

“My Olympic participation ended almost 50 years ago,” Matthews wrote in an email to last year. “Over the years, I have made a concerted effort to move with an eye toward the future. I live by the following quote `When looking back doesn’t interest you anymore, you’re doing the right thing.’ At this point in my life, the right thing is looking/moving forward and not looking backward.”

Collett died in 2010 at age 60 from complications of nasopharyngeal cancer.

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