Melbourne, Aug.2 : China has banned the Australian Olympic squad from having barbeques on grounds that it poses a major health and polluting risk.
Barbeques are the Australian sporting fraternity's treasured team-bonding device, but according to Olympic team chief John Coates, the Chinese, paranoid about heath risks, did double takes when told that the Australians wanted not only to cook their own meat but also to cook it outside.
The air quality was too poor and could cause contamination, the Daily Telegraph quoted Chinese Olympic officials, as saying in Beijing.
Coates accepted the decision but admitted to missing the traditional, team-bonding barbecue.
"It's obviously a tactic by them to snatch a few medals off us," one Australian athlete said.
Research into heat management has produced a plan to help the Aussie squad deal with Beijing's 30C-plus heat and stifling humidity.
Despite the food fuss, the Aussies have settled in.
"This is clearly the best village we've ever had," Coates said.