Olympians Fearful of Chinese Food Chemicals

Athletes worried about mystery additives plan to pack their own food
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 22, 2008 4:57 AM CDT
Laboratory workers analyze chicken meat at the Huadu Foodstuffs Company near Beijing Monday Nov. 12, 2007. Many Olympic athletes fear steroids or hormones in food wil influence their drug tests.   (AP Photo/Greg Baker)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – In addition to concerns about air quality in Beijing this August, many Olympic athletes are worried about contaminants and chemicals in the food, ABC News reports. With many of China's agricultural products boosted by growth stimulants, or steroids, or amped by antibiotics, athletes are particularly concerned that they might unwittingly ingest a banned substance.

China has identified several special Olympics food providers and assured athletes that strict regulations and tracking systems will ensure clean and problem-free meals. But many Olympians will be bringing their own ingredients. "If there is a possibility of us getting tested positive for something through eating, I'm not going to take that chance," said US water polo captain Tony Azevado. "I don't think anyone on our team will."