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Amanda Beard: Nude again

August 6, 2008 |  7:55 am

Amanda Beard, on the left, signs an autograph after unveiling her nude poster for People For the Ethical Treatment of Aminals.

BEIJING -- So much for tennis player Ashley Harkleroad getting all the attention for posing nude in Playboy.

Amanda Beard, who'd already gone the Playboy cover girl route, wasn't going to stand by and let that happen.

Kidding aside, Beard is quite savvy, and she's using the Olympic platform for maximum impact. She unveiled her naked, anti-fur campaign poster for PETA on Wednesday morning at a function just outside the athletes' village. Originally, the launch was planned for a hotel conference room but officials locked it down, citing security concerns.

The poster says:

BE COMFORTABLE
IN YOUR OWN SKIN.
DON'T WEAR FUR.

And Beard isn't wearing fur in the photo -- or anything else.

Beard wasn't at swim practice at the Water Cube early Wednesday evening. In fact, most of the U.S. swimmers weren't there. But her former coach, Dave Salo of USC, was on the deck.

Salo coached Beard when she qualified for her first Olympic team in 1996 at age 14 and again this past spring in advance of the Beijing Games. Beard left Salo to train with Cyndi Gallagher at UCLA, but she remains close with Salo.

When we asked him about the poster, he shrugged and smiled: "When they get older ... I don't have any control. When she was 14, it was a little easier."

Somewhere, that cute (and, yes, furry) teddy bear, the one Beard used to carry around on the way to the starting blocks, is blushing.

-- Lisa Dillman

Updated at 11:05 with the additional information about Cyndi Gallagher.

Photo: Amanda Beard signs her autograph after unveiling her nude poster for People for the Ethical Treatment of Aminals at the Olympic Village in Beijing on Wednesday. Credit: Jewel Sama / AFP/Getty Images

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