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  • Countdown Beijing: Reporters Database, New Doping Lab


    Beijing has also extended the campaign against fake reporters by five months, until March. (Getty Images)  
    Beijing Vigilant on Reporters, Fake or Not

    The Chinese government is on the lookout for fake reporters who might try to "threaten and intimidate" others, says a press official.

    "Disguising reporters to threaten and intimidate others to collect money is cheating and very dangerous to society," Liu Binjie, minister of the General Administration of Press and Publication said on Nov. 12.

    He also says fake reporters representing overseas media are especially dangerous.

    The government is compiling a database of 8,000 foreign reporters allowed inside Olympic venues and of another 20,000 allowed to work inside China during the Games, state media reports. Host countries usually compile a database of Olympic reporters before a Games.  China's database is ostensibly a way to pass information to interviewees about their interviewers, according to GAPP.

    More than 300 unlicensed publications and 150 fake reporters have been caught since a crackdown on bogus journalism began in August, the report continues.

    The Social News is one of the latest to be shut down, and two of its staff put in jail for allegedly reporting false information about Hong Kong and operating without a license.

    Drugs Facility Opens in Beijing

    The same week as the World Anti-Doping Congress opens in Madrid, Beijing opens its Games-time drug testing laboratory.

    The new China Anti-Doping Agency will employ 20 testing specialists among the 60 staff. During the Games, the staff will grow to some 150 people, including foreign specialists. Some 4,500 drug tests will be processed during the 2008 Games.
    The new China Anti-Doping Lab is the biggest in the country. (BOCOG)  

    Agency director Du Lijun spoke to Chinese media at the Nov. 12 inauguration.

    "We have much work to do. We need to step up our research for new testing ways to keep up with WADA's requirements," said Du.

    "Because we not only conduct tests for Chinese athletes, we are also entrusted to do tests for athletes from other Asian countries and regions," he continued.

    The agency is designed to unify and centralize management of the country's anti-doping programs – which have been controlled by different government bodies and sports committees over the last 20 years.

    An IOC team will inspect the facility later this year, Du said.

    Games officials processed 2,800 tests in Sydney and 3,700 in Athens.

    Beijing Defends Food Quality

    In an effort to show that Beijing's food supply is safe and that Olympians will not require any special food supply, BOCOG has taken reporters on a tour of two Beijing abattoirs.
    There are no Olympic Pigs, fed on organic food and Chinese herbs, says BOCOG. (Getty Images)  

    "We have the same management system for all consumers, including for the Olympic Games," Li Yuanping, of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, told reporters at the Nov. 12 tour.

    The visitors to the Pengcheng Foods pork plant and the Beijing Huadu Broiler Co. were told that the plants were clean, safety standards were high, and Olympic athletes would eat the same food as the general population.

    The tour comes partially in response to reports that athletes would receive food not available to the public.

    In August, Beijing 2008's pork supplier said in interviews that he was raising Olympic hogs free of any hormones that could cause irregular drug test results. BOCOG quashed that story, saying that no special methods were necessary to raise safe meat and that the pork supplier was just trying to promote his own business.

    HK, Beijing Mark 300 Days until Paralympics

    In Hong Kong, the Home Affairs Bureau, in conjunction with the Hong Kong Paralympic Committee & Sports Association for the Physically Disabled, used the 300-day Paralympic mark for a Games announcement.

    Permanent Secretary Carrie Yau says the milestone will mark the government's launch of a city dress-up program for the Games.

    Yau's announcement came a day after one of her colleagues said the government will seek $19 million to promote the Olympic spirit in the territory.

    Deputy Secretary for Home Affairs Donald Tong says the plan includes pre-Games community celebrations, carnivals around the torch relay, and museum exhibits. Possible exhibits include "Horses in Chinese Culture" at the Museum of History and "How Sport Works" at the Science Museum.

    Beijing marked the day with a ceremony to celebrate Paralympics volunteers and athletes. Both volunteers and athlete representatives spoke to their colleagues at the outdoor event.

    Homepage Photo by Getty Images

    Written by Maggie Lee

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