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SBD Global/July 31, 2012/Olympics

Olympics Notes

The London INDEPENDENT's Jerome Taylor reported that cleaners and security staff have been recruited by Olympic officials to snoop on athletes as part of their fight against competitors using performance-enhancing drugs. Staff have been told to keep an eye out on "suspicious non-prescription medicines, blister packs of tablets and any intravenous equipment that might point towards doping" (INDEPENDENT, 7/30).

CHEAP GIG: The EVENING STANDARD's Beard & Aizelwood reported that some of the biggest stars at the Opening Ceremony received just £1 ($1.50) for performing. The "top talent," including Paul McCartney, Mike Oldfield, Dizzee Rascal, Frank Turner, Underworld and Emeli Sande, all "agreed to play for free" (EVENING STANDARD, 7/30).

SLOW SOUVENIR SALES: Ipsos Marketing Associate Dir Sasha Birkin wrote in BRAND REPUBLIC that "enthusiasm for Olympic-branded souvenirs and merchandise is fairly low overall." Only 4% expect to purchase such items. Also, only 3% "expect to spend more on sports clothing or footwear" (BRAND REPUBLIC, 7/27).

WHO LOST THE KEYS?:
The FINANCIAL TIMES DEUTSCHLAND reported that the London Metropolitan Police have "lost several security keys to access Wembley Stadium." On Tuesday, officers who patrolled the stadium that will play host to Olympic football games lost the keys. Scotland Yard said that "the affected locks have been changed, and that security has never been compromised" (FINANCIAL TIMES DEUTSCHLAND, 7/30).

THE FLYING BEDS: The PA reported that "the more than 300 beds featured in the Opening Ceremony will be donated to hospitals in Tunisia." A team of 15 volunteers "will now spend three days removing LED bedding, batteries and wiring from all 320 showpieces - turning them into functioning hospital beds" (PA, 7/30).

SHOW ME THE MONEY: In an interview with BILD am SONNTAG German Olympic team Chef de Mission Michael Vesper said, "The London Games will be the toughest Olympic Games of all time because more and more countries are able to compete for medals. I'm convinced that for the first time ever more than 90 nations will win a medal in London. Countries like the U.S., Russia, Spain and especially the U.K. invest much more money in sports than we do. We calculated that we would need an additional €5-€6M ($6.1M-$7.3M) a year to keep our level. In light of the current financial and budget worries, I don't think we will receive the desperately needed funding" (BILD, 7/28).
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