Prostitutes disqualified from Olympic fun and games

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The Independent Online

The first Olympic starting pistol won't be fired until Friday but in the media village, it appears, the games have already begun.

The first Olympic starting pistol won't be fired until Friday but in the media village, it appears, the games have already begun.

The village, home to 6,000 journalists from around the world, has been identified as a source of rich pickings by Sydney's prostitutes. Five women were escorted off the premises last weekend after propositioning reporters playing pool in the 24-hour bar.

Geoffrey Bennun, the manager of the village, claimed that residents had been horrified by the turn of events. But he admitted that the women - who were reportedly demanding £200 for their services - could only have gained entry after being signed in at the front gate by an accredited journalist. "We can only suppose that the ladies in question were brought in by guests," he said. "And I have a feeling that they did not leave after their dinner. It is not something that we condone, but what we are running is effectively a hotel. We don't want the media to feel that they are staying in a boarding house or a prison."

Security has been tightened since the incident on Saturday when police were called and the women - four prostitutes and a madam - were asked to leave.

The complex of cabins and apartments on the site of a former psychiatric hospital in western Sydney is three miles from Olympic Park, where the athletes' village and the principal sports venues are located. It has a restaurant, health spa, gymnasium and cricket pitch. All the rooms have single beds.

Mr Bennun said that when bar staff challenged the women, they claimed to be accompanied by a resident, though he declined to give the person's name or nationality. "This is a headache and, believe me, I've got enough things to worry about," he said.

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