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Salt Lake City Calm After Olympic Disturbances - 2002-02-24

It is the final day of the Winter Olympic Games, and Salt Lake City is preparing for a giant party to end the competition. The city is calm following the arrest of 20 people late Saturday in a disturbance at an entertainment venue.

At least 50 helmeted riot police clashed with a rock and bottle-throwing crowd outside a beer garden just blocks from the Olympics medals plaza. Police report minor damage, but no injuries.

Salt Lake City police chief Rick Dinse was on the scene as officers used foam-tipped bullets to scatter the unruly crowd. "We did use some less lethal munitions in doing that, and at this time things have pretty much calmed down," he said.

Meanwhile, controversy at the Salt Lake games continued into the final day. Spain's triple gold-medallist skier Johann Muehlegg met with international Olympic officials after he reportedly tested positive for a performance-boosting chemical with similar properties to the banned substance EPO. A Spanish official says the substance in the athlete's blood does not appear on the list of banned chemicals and urged the IOC to be cautious in evaluating the case.

Topping the day's athletic competition will be the long-awaited hockey game between the U.S. and Canadian men's teams.

The Canadians, who invented hockey, have not won a gold medal in the sport for 50 years, while the U.S. team is hoping for a replay of the 1980 game in which the United States defeated Canada to win to the gold.

Sunday will also feature the women's 30-kilometer cross-country ski marathon.

Later, all eyes will be on Rice Eccles Stadium and the gala ceremony that will bring to an end the 17-day Olympic competition.