No alcohol for Russia in London Olympics

AFP, Monday 21 May 2012

Alcohol banned for members of Russian teams at 2012 games, according to report

Members of the Russian team and delegation attending the 2012 London Olympics are to be banned from drinking alcohol during the competition, according to reports in Moscow on Monday.

"Olympic values are not compatible with alcohol," Ilia Djous, spokesman for Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Kozak, told the Kommersant daily.

According to the newspaper, the Russian Olympic Committee will not even be allowed to toast the health of medal winning athletes.

The decision was taken as a result of the "disastrous results" of the Russian team at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver where they achieved just 14 medals out of a predicted tally of up to 50.

"On the other hand, the Russian receptions in Vancouver were the noisiest," the newspaper said, recalling one particular evening when two imitation petrol pumps were installed serving vodka and whiskey for guests.

Alcohol abuse kills an estimated 500,000 people annually in Russia with the life expectancy of Russian men below that of developing nations such as Bangladesh or Honduras, according to official figures.

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