Sport: Budding Controversy

Perhaps the most tangled case of 1984 Olympic eligibility is that of a tiny teenager, 5-ft. 2-in., 82-lb. Zola Budd. The 17-year-old may be the fastest female middle-distance runner in the world, but she is having a tough time proving it officially. The reason: she is a white South African as well as a hastily minted British citizen. And that quick switch strikes some as too fast altogether.

The farm girl emerged, seemingly from nowhere, in a race near Cape Town last January. Striding barefoot, as she prefers, over the artificial Tartan, Budd ran...

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