Aug 06 Australian broadcaster breaches Olympic rules

Aug. 06, 2008, 4:20 a.m. (ET)

BEIJING(AP) An Australian television channel was banned from official Olympic areas for a week by the IOC for breaking the rules of non-rights holders at the Beijing Games.

Channel Nine went into the swimming venue with TV equipment, which is prohibited by the International Olympic Committee. The network, which did not air any footage taken in the venue, will still be able to interview athletes as long as they are outside official areas.

The ban will end next Wednesday night.

``The IOC has taken action against what was, in our view, a serious breach of the news access rules,'' IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies said Wednesday. ``The Nine Network ENR crew will not be issued Olympic Green Common Domain filming passes and will not be permitted to enter the Olympic Green Common Domain with equipment.''

Channel 7 is the official broadcaster for Australia, and that network complained to the IOC about the breach.

``They apologized to Channel 7, and they gave assurances that such breaches would not occur again,'' Davies said. ``However, as you may remember, a similar venue breach incident was also committed by a Nine network in Athens.''

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