The Washington Post

London Olympics: IOC bans needles, shames countries with no female athletes at games

President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Jacques Rogge spoke in Durban, South Africa, Tuesday, where the group announced a new “no needle” policy for the 2012 games. (Stephane de Sakutin/AP)

The policy will prohibit athletes from not only using and possessing performance enhancing drugs, but also from possessing syringes and other medical supplies that could be used for doping.

The IOC also expressed its displeasure with the last three nations that have never sent a female athlete to the Olympics — Brunei, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Among the 205 member states, the three countries are the last to have female athletes compete on sport’s grandest stage. Still, progress was made at the 2008 Beijing Olympics when three Middle Eastern nations — Oman, Yemen and United Arab Emirates — each sent female athletes for the first time.

Annie DeFrantz, the head of the IOC’s women and sport commission has previously proposed that countries with a male-only Olympics policy should be barred from the games. She also mentioned 10 international sports federations, including FIFA, that lack women in executive positions.

“It’s disturbing that we have fewer women than ever serving on executive boards of sports,” DeFrantz said.

Regarding the new “no needle” policy, IOC medical commission chairman Arne Ljungqvist said needles give “a very bad image and a bad message and can relate to misuse of drugs and doping.”

Matt Brooks is the high school sports editor for The Washington Post. He's an Arlington native and longtime District resident and was previously a high school sports reporter, editor for several blogs and Early Lead contributor with The Post.


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