Beijing Olympics organisers said on Friday they had a contingency plan for the marathon should pollution force a rescheduling or a postponement of the Games' final athletics competition. The men's marathon is run on the last day of the Games on August 24 and with pollution in the city remaining a problem, there have been concerns the Olympics would need to be extended if the event was rescheduled.
Beijing organisers, however, said whatever the change may be — and they declined to reveal what the contingency plan was — all competition would be finished by August 24 and the Games would not be extended for any sport.
Most observers believe the plan would be to take the race to another, less polluted Chinese city.
China lift some internet curbs
Beijing: China on Friday allowed media at the Olympic press centre to access Amnesty International's website and a small number of previously censored sites, but a wide array of others remained blocked. The previously barred websites of media watchdog Reporters Without Borders and German broadcaster Deutsche Welle were also accessible. However many other sites were still blocked, including those linked to Chinese dissidents.
Baldini fails drugs test
Milan: Fencer Andrea Baldini, a leading Italian gold medal hope for the Beijing Olympics, has failed a doping test, the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) said on Friday. The 22-year-old, who won the silver medal in the foil at the 2006 and 2007 world championships, tested positive for the diuretic furosemide during the European fencing championship in Kiev last month.
Thanou slams IOC
Athens: Greek sprinter Katerina Thanou has slammed the IOC decision to delay a hearing on her participation in the Beijing Games until the eve of the opening ceremony. "I will not now go to Beijing until Aug. 13. If these issues didn't exist I would already be there. I think this situation is unfair.
German Olympians protest
Berlin: Under the slogan "We are all Chinese", nine German Olympians, while protesting, have posed in their sports kit for a Munich magazine while holding pictures of Chinese dissidents in front of their faces. Agencies