Meat fears hit Olympic hopes

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 July, 2012, 12:00am


BEIJING - Food safety is affecting mainland athletes' preparation for the London Olympics.

Many are avoiding mainland meat after pork was found to contain the asthma drug clenbuterol.

The drug is banned by mainland food agencies and global anti-doping authorities.

Early this year, a safety warning led the General Administration of Sports to ban athletes from eating pork, beef or lamb when dining out.

The Ministry of Agriculture says tests show 99.94 per cent of meat tested is free of clenbuterol. But the mainland's women's volleyball team, who lost 0-3 to the US in Sunday's FIVB World Grand Prix finals, in Zhejiang province, blamed the loss on eating no meat for three weeks.

Coach Yu Juemin said: 'We dare not eat meat because of fears over clenbuterol. Now we are at a critical time with the Olympics [coming].'