TECH AND MONEY

Condoms breaking Olympic rules

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Don’t mess with the official condom of the 2012 London Summer Olympics.

Gabby Douglas

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That’s essentially the message being sent by LOCOG, the organizing committee of these games, after a bucket of unauthorized condoms was discovered in the Olympic Village.

Condom-gate came to light when Australian BMX cyclist Caroline Buchanan posted a photo of the bucket on her Twitter account, according to The Guardian newspaper.

The bucket was adorned with a sign bearing the message, “Kangaroos condoms, for the gland downunder," and a photo of a boxing kangaroo.

Organizers of the London Games, following a tradition started in Barcelona in 1992 and backed by the IOC, placed 150,000 free Durex condoms in dispensers for the more than 10,000 athletes competing this summer. Durex paid for the right to supply the condoms.

LOCOG officials are trying to determine how the Kangaroo condoms got into the athletes village, a spokeswoman told The Guardian. The condoms apparently came from Durex rivals Ansell Ltd., an Australian company, and Pasante, a private British firm.

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Though athletes and officials were permitted to bring personal items into the village, the spokeswoman told The Guardian that LOCOG "will look into this and ask that they are not handed out to other athletes because Durex are our supplier."

The promotion of products is strictly controlled by Olympic organizers, who make sponsorship deals with a limited number of companies and, thus, want to limit any free publicity by competitors.

A company spokeswoman told The Guardian that Durex was "proud to be supplying free condoms for the Olympics Games" but declined further comment. An Ansell spokeswoman told The Guardian her company was unaware of the situation and suggested it might be a prank. "We have had no official participation or association with the Olympics at all," she said.

Pasante managing director Lawrence Boon denied any involvement by his company and also suggested it was a prank.

"We have no association with the Olympics, but we did launch a gold condom this year for champions," Boon told The Guardian. "With such high teenage pregnancy and STD rates, we try to make people carry condoms by making them fun and interesting."

The number of condoms supplied at London broke the record of 100,000 offered in Beijing four years ago. Organizers of the 2000 Sydney Games had to pull out an additional 20,000 condoms after the athletes worked their way through the initial allocation of 70,000.

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