World gymnastics body probes US mats supplier

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Gymnastics world governing body FIG has opened a disciplinary case against United States equipment supplier American Athletic Inc. over landing mats it provided for the American Cup in New York earlier this month.

The mats "have no valid FIG certification and ... are incongruent" with its specifications, the governing body said Monday in a statement.

The March 3 event at Madison Square Garden was part of the Artistic Gymnastics World Cup series.

The FIG says it has appointed officials from Belgium, Switzerland and Tunisia to judge the case.

AAI, which is based in Jefferson, Iowa, says on it website that it supplied gymnastics equipment to the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

Also Monday, FIG said the same disciplinary panel would investigate the president of Romania's rhythmics gymnastics federation, Irina Deleanu, over comments she made in a television interview about judging standards at a London Olympics test event in January.

"Mrs Deleanu's comments include serious allegations against the FIG and call into question the capabilities of Cypriot gymnast Chrystalleni Trikomiti, while suggesting that she may have received preferential treatment," the FIG said.

FIG said its Cypriot member federation filed a complaint after the Jan. 15-18 competition, which was an Olympics qualifier.

Deleanu is a judge and member of the European governing body's rhythmic gymnastics technical committee.

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