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  • Korean TV Breaches Ceremony Rehearsal with Forbidden Video


    Performers for the opening ceremony wit outside the stadium for their part in the rehearsal. (Getty Images)
    (ATR) BOCOG could punish Korean television station SBS after one of its journalists breached high security at the Bird’s Nest stadium to shoot video of long sections of an opening ceremony rehearsal.

    The network broadcast video of the Wednesday night rehearsal, and the images were later put on the internet by News Limited, the Australian media group.

    Sun Weide, BOCOG’s deputy media director, confirms that the TV journalist who was allowed to walk into the Olympic stadium was "not authorized" but did not reveal if SBS would be penalized for the breach.

    "We’re still checking," he told Around the Rings after a press conference Thursday on medical services for the Games.

    But given his angry reaction to the leak, the signs look ominous for SBS. "We are disappointed and frustrated in this broadcast by SBS," Sun told reporters.

    "This episode cannot represent the entire picture of the opening ceremony. Let’s wait until Aug. 8 to enjoy the wonderful opening ceremony of the Olympics."

    The contents of the opening ceremony were supposed to be a heavily guarded secret. There is a heavy security presence around the 91,000-seat Olympic stadium for the nightly rehearsals.

    ATR was even prevented from taking photos of some of the opening ceremony participants gathered outside the stadium Wednesday night.

    BOCOG has reportedly made performers sign confidentiality agreements not to reveal details of the Aug. 8 ceremony, which is directed by Zhang Yimou, one of the country's leading film directors.

    BOCOG officials are said to have been threatened with jail sentences of up to seven years if they breach confidentiality.
    SBS broadcast about one minute of film from the ceremony dry run, including scenes showing the past and future of Chinese culture and various choreographed dance routines.

    The lighting of the Olympic
    BOCOG deputy media chief Sun Weide says Korean TV network SBS could face penalties for their video of a ceremony rehearsal. (ATR)
    torch was not shown but SBS said a golden phoenix was expected to swoop down into the stadium for the climactic event, according to a Reuters report.

    "We went, and nobody stopped us. So we just shot," a staff reporter at SBS in Seoul was quoted as saying.

    BOCOG Confident in Anti-doping Controls

    BOCOG officials express confidence in the stringent doping controls for the Games.

    "We are doing our best to create a clean Olympic Games and I am sure it is going to be a very clean Olympics," Wu Moutian, deputy director of the Olympic Anti-doping National Laboratory, told a press conference Thursday.

    "Of course, some people always try to take their chance and challenge us but we will do our best to stop them.".

    Wu’s lab will conduct 4,500 tests during the Games including 700 to 800 urine tests for the blood-boosting hormone erythropoietin (EPO). "We have confidence in the method of testing for EPO," he says.

    Asked if new tests to detect human growth hormone (HGH) introduced for the Games will be effective, Wu said: "Whether can catch them especially as it has to be done 24 to 48 hours, I am not so sure."

    The anti-doping tests got underway July 27 when the Olympic Village opened to athletes. A total of 41 doping control stations will be managed by 907 staff during the Games.

    Meanwhile, World Anti-Doping Agency president John Fahey insists athletes will find it hard to use performance-enhancing drugs at the Olympics without getting caught.

    "I'm satisfied in Beijing that those doping will have a better chance of getting caught than ever before," Fahey told USA Today Wednesday. "Athletes who are going to cheat are taking a big risk, something they're going to find out to their detriment. They're going to have to be idiots to try."

    Written by Mark Bisson.

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