China to breed hormone-free pigs for Olympic Games

by Editor
Monday, August 13, 2007

To avoid false-positive doping tests among athletes attending the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China will serve them pork produced without any hormones.

The pigs will be produced by Qianxihe Food Group at secret locations. The pork would not cause Olympic athletes to fail doping tests due to residual antibiotics and steroids.

Food for athletes would be strictly monitored through every step of farming, processing and transport, according to Wang Wei, secretary-general of the Beijing organising committee for the games.

In an indication of the concern Olympic organisers had about food quality, company spokesman Niu Shengnan said visitors to the three pig-rearing centres near Beijing had to pass a three-day quarantine process before getting in. Even when inspectors go, they must first be quarantined for three days before being allowed to set foot inside.

China faces high pork prices following an outbreak of a variation of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome virus - also known as blue ear disease - which has killed about 1 million pigs since May last year.