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'More than 20,000 condoms could be used at the Games'

Last updated on: October 08, 2010 13:22 IST

When Indian Olympic Association president and Commonwealth Games organsing committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi was trumpeting that the Delhi Games would witness a number of firsts, little did he think there would be one unique record -- the number of condoms used by athletes.

It's just five days since the Games kicked off and -- no prizes for guessing -- more then 10,000 condoms have already been used.

A senior official at the Games Village told "We have already done the filling of the condom vending machines three times. If the present trend continues, by the end of the Games more then more than 20,000 condoms could be used by athletes from the participating nations."

Asked how many condom vending machines are in operation at the village, officals gave the stock answer: "I am not dealing with this. Kindly ask someone else."

The mayor of the Games village (retired) Major Dalbir Singh, of the Ministry of Family Planning, and the Delhi government's health department, headed by Sheila Dikshit, too shrugged off the matter saying they are no way connected with the condom issue.

The sports editor of a leading English newspaper in Delhi said, "Some so-called athletes come for free rides and not to compete. They are the ones who use these facilities the most."

A senior lady journalist was embarrassed to the core when asked how she viewed the whole thing.

"It's a close race between the Kumbh Mela and the Commonwealth Games village. If the size of the participants were even ten times more the number of such vending machines would run into hundreds. While some would use them others may sell them for money or pocket them for use in future. After all, it is not the same thing as embezzlement of money," she quipped.

The Delhi Police has ruled out the possibility of any flesh trade racket operating in the Games Vvillage.

"I can say that no unaccredited person or unverified person is allowed inside the Games Village," said Rajan Bhagat, Delhi Police Public Relations Officer.

Senior officials of the IOA washed their hands off the issue, telling to contact Suresh Kalmadi or Lalit Bhanot for information on the matter.

The minute Kalamadi saw a handful of journalists waiting to ask him questions on the condoms and their vending machines, he virtually made a dash for the exit gates.

Onkar Singh in New Delhi