Chinese Olympic Athletes Aren't Allowed To Eat Local Meat Because It Might Get Them Banned For Doping

china diving divers beijing olympicsDivers at the Beijing Olympics

Photo: AP Images

There’s a lot of reasons to be fearful of food in China — and apparently Olympic officials in the country are so worried about local supplies that athletes have received stern warnings about the type of food they can eat while training.Wang Yang, a sports columnist writing for Ciaxin online, recalls a conversation he recently had with one athlete from the Chinese swimming team:

“We are not allowed to eat outside of the training centre cafeteria anymore … Otherwise we could be thrown off the team!”

Pork, beef and lamb have been banned by the General Administration of Sports unless they are from a trusted source, Wang reports. That can mean some pretty dramatic practices — the Chinese marathon team is reportedly raising their own chickens, and the judo team their own pigs.

It may sound ridiculous, but China may be right to err on the side of caution. A top Chinese swimmer, Ouyang Kunpeng, was banned in 2008 after testing positive for steroids. It is now believed that Ouyang had traces of lean-meat agent Clenbuterol in his system after eating from a roadside barbecue stall.

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