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Beijing Olympics to be clean event away from politics
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The Beijing Olympic Games will be a clean, non-political sporting event, said some members of China's top political advisory body on the sidelines of its annual session.

"High-tech measures will be used as part of anti-doping efforts," said Jiang Xiaoyu, executive vice president of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG).

China is resolute against doping and the Beijing Olympics will feature the largest number of doping tests in the history of the Games, said Jiang, a member of the 11th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

According to Cui Dalin, deputy director of the State General Administration of Sport, China has imposed anti-doping requirements on all the participating athletes and taken measures to prevent them from mistakenly using banned drugs.

As for the Chinese teams, Cui said, "We would rather lose gold medals than dope."

Responding to criticisms from overseas non-governmental organizations and media, Liu Jingmin, vice mayor of Beijing and also executive vice president of the BOCOG, was unconcerned.

"The world is vast with different voices, but we must carry on preparations for the Olympic Games as scheduled," he said. "There is more work in the following five months, which we should go all out to do."

Cui said that criticism wouldn't dampen China's enthusiasm. "We have more than 150 days ahead and I am counting down day by day," he said. "The more problems we find out now, the better the Olympic Games would be."

Jiang pointed out that in almost all previous Olympics, host countries had seen political issues associated with the event.

"As International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge said, the Games is solely a sporting gala that shouldn't be linked with politics."

When asked if Taiwan could send athletes to the Games, Jiang replied "that's for sure" but added that he didn't know how many would come.

Cui and Liu also extended a welcome for athletes from Taiwan and wished them luck.

(Xinhua News Agency March 7, 2008)

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