Table Tennis: England may come unstuck over glue ban

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The Independent Online
THE ruling body of English table tennis was warned yesterday that it will lose the chance to stage next year's European championships in Birmingham unless it lifts a ban on home players using liquid glue to attach rubber to bats.

Controversy over the issue takes a new twist today when the national council of the English Table Tennis Association will be asked by the chairman, Alan Ransome, to reverse the banning order imposed because of health fears over the glue's toxic fumes.

A world ban on liquid glue will come into force next June, but until then all but England's players are allowed to use it. Ransome said yesterday that if the council continues the ban 'there is no doubt we shall lose the championships'.

Overseas players travelling to Birmingham would expect to use the glue before the ban is effective. If the championships go ahead, extensive precautions will be taken. These include the use of protective clothing and face masks to avoid toxic fumes which may lead to nervous disorders and, possibly, cancer.

Most top players use liquid glue to speed the ball off the bat. Bat maufacturers are busy producing alternative double-sided sheets of adhesive film.