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IOC to monitor needles, medical equipment in London

By Karolos Grohmann

DURBAN, South Africa (Reuters) - The use of needles and medical equipment at the London 2012 Olympics will be tightly controlled by the International Olympic Committee after it adopted a 'no needles' policy on Friday to battle doping.

Team doctors will not be banned from treating athletes in locker rooms, the field of play or the dormitories but will need to inform Games officials of their activities if they include syringes and other equipment that could potentially be used for doping purposes.

"We want to send a message that people behave properly in relation to medical treatment," Arne Ljungqvist, the head of the IOC medical commission, told reporters after the IOC session backed his proposal.

He said the IOC will not ban syringes and medical equipment from the Olympic village or non-medical facilities but would need to be aware of who is doing what at these locations.

"We do not want to act as police but should we come across inappropriate behavior we will report it," he said.

Ljungqvist said while the enforcement of the plan still needed to be worked out the IOC wanted to set an example.

"I am happy that the session by approving my report supported this policy. It is also an attempt to make some steps in preventing doping."

While sanctions for those breaking the rules would lie with their respective federations, the IOC reserved the right to strip those athletes or medical staff of their Olympic accreditations.

"It would be similar to finding a doping violation," he said.

(Writing by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Martyn Herman)

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