Websites that deal with subjects deemed too sensitive by Chinese authorities were blocked at the Olympic media centre on Wednesday, undermining promises of unfettered Internet access. Attempts to access several controversial websites from computers at the Main Press Centre, near the principal Olympic venues in Beijing, were met with the message: “Impossible to display the page.” The first batch of blocked sites belong to dissident groups, such as Boxun.com and Faluninfo.net, that deal with the Buddhist-inspired spiritual movement Falungong, which has been banned in China since 1999. Meanwhile, the IOC admitted Wednesday it knew China never planned to lift Internet restrictions for journalists covering the Olympic Games despite promises to the contrary.
Spokeswoman Giselle Davies said IOC officials had been repeatedly told in talks with the Beijing organising committee (BOCOG) that some Internet websites would be unavailable for the 20,000 reporters covering the August 8-24 Games.
Oz couple split before Games
Australian swimmings glamour couples, Stephanie Rice and Eamon Sullivan, have split up just before the Olympic Games but insist their preparations have not been affected.
Sullivan is the 50m freestyle world record holder and Rice set world marks in the 200m and 400m individual medley earlier this year.
China denies underage reports
China on Wednesday denied media reports that two of its female gymnasts were too young to compete in the Beijing Olympics.
“The Chinese Gymnastics Association organised the athletes' passports according to identity documents provided by the province, autonomous region, or city where they were registered,” the association said in a statement.