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The current time in Athens is 04:08 on October 4, 2023

28th Olympic Games - JO

Athens, Greece, August 14-28, 2004

Features for Saturday, August 7, 2004

Alcohol free zone - almost

The athletes' village has everything from discos to giant outdoor television screens but one thing it does not have is booze - at least officially.

"Olympic villages are traditionally dry. There is no alcohol available anywhere on site and no food or beverages can be brought in," an IOC official said. "They can't take so much as a piece of fruit or a yoghurt outside the hall," said a village official.

There are strict controls on all food and drink inside the village with athletes forbidden from taking anything outside the dining hall and only sponsors' soft drinks available from vending machines.

But not everyone is cut out for two weeks of abstinence though and Australian shooter Susie Balogh said she kept a bottle of whisky to settle the nerves.

"When I arrive somewhere new I have a bottle of scotch with me and I have a couple to get to sleep," she told reporters. "We're just doing what we usually do."

Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) officials said the team was "fairly dry" overall with some sports operating a strict no alcohol policy.

© AAP/Reuters