Olympic games: Berlin may bid for the 2008 Summer Games

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Berlin may bid for the 2008 Summer Games, the city government's spokesman Michael-Andreas Butz said yesterday. Butz said Berlin, which lost out to Sydney in its bid for the 2000 Games, was open to the possibility of bidding for the 2008, 2012 or even the 2016 Games. The Berlin stadium, built for the 1936 Olympics, had fallen into disrepair although it still hosts athletics meetings and the German cup final. Germany's Ruhr region, the densely populated coal and steel territory in the far west of the country, last year announced that it planned to bid to host the 2008 Games.

Olympic organisers faced a major doping scandal yesterday after allegations in Germany that one of the country's top sports doctors had injected banned human growth hormones into a female track and field athlete who competed at last year's Atlanta Games. The doctor denies the allegation, which was reported to the German medical authorities by another doctor who said he saw the banned substance written in the athlete's medical records. The athlete says she did not ask for the drugs.

The International Olympic Committee plans to crack down on television stations which run tobacco advertising during Olympic telecasts. "The image of the Olympic Games is at stake," the IOC director general, Francois Carrard, said yesterday. "Tobacco advertising is already not acceptable. We have to strengthen the legal wording to make sure it doesn't happen." Without naming any countries guilty of the practice, Carrard said the problem has mostly occurred in Asia.