Recently, news reports have claimed the Chinese national marathon team has been raising their own chickens at their training facilities in Yunnan province, with coaches even reportedly tending to the chickens themselves. With athletes at the mercy of doping tests, the self-raised chickens were part of an effort to avoid any chance of chemical contamination in the marathon team’s food supply before the London Olympics begin in July.
However, the marathon team has now refuted the chicken-raising rumor, and have declared that they instead bought several chickens in the Yunnan city of Lijiang, where there training facilities are located. The chickens were eaten daily, with others being kept temporarily in a yard at their training facilities.
A spokesman for the team declared that the nothing out of the ordinary happened.
“This is just a normal practice for athletic training, and it was only the media who reported that we were raising the chickens ourselves. The chickens are long gone, we really don’t have time to raise any ourselves,” the spokesman claimed.
Previously, reports also claimed that the athletes weren’t allowed to eat in restaurants, to avoid consuming possible additives in their food. And out of concern for the safety of available meat, the athletes reportedly were only allowed to eat vegetables during their first days in Yunnan.
The Shanghai Daily claims coaches bought fish caught in the local Jinsha River, as well as procuring yak beef from local herdsmen.
Meanwhile, the Chengdu Business Paper reports that a judo team in Tianjin raised 20 of their own pigs. Athletes even reportedly fed the pigs after training, which some athletes claiming the pig raising helped them to relax.
Furthermore, it’s also been reported that the national gymnastics team doesn’t allow its athletes to eat outside of their training facilities, in order to avoid any potential mishaps. Like obese kids at fat camp, athletes must also divulge the passwords for their personal safe boxes, so that team officials can ensure no unauthorized food can be stored in secret.