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Olympic Village Runs Smoothly

September 29, 2000

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) _ The Bulgarians have to make their own beds. A few athletes have been sent home for stealing.

But other than that, the man in charge of the Olympic athletes’ village is happy with the way his temporary town of nearly 17,000 is running.

``There are no scandals,″ village mayor Graham Richardson said.

Housekeepers have not serviced the Bulgarian team’s living quarters since finding lots of loose needles littered around the rooms.

Richardson said it appeared the needles had been used for vitamin injections, adding that there was no evidence of prohibited substances _ although village personnel are not responsible for looking for drugs.

``My concern solely has been for the health of the staff,″ Richardson said, noting that a few workers had been accidentally poked with used needles.

About 20 other nations also were negligent in safely disposing of the needles, ``but have not been up in the Bulgarian class,″ Richardson said.

Towels and sheets are still being made available to the Bulgarians, but they are responsible for their own housekeeping.

In other quarters, five burglaries have been reported. One man was caught trying to steal from his own delegation and was sent home.

``Some of the richer countries don’t lock their doors that often,″ Richardson said.

The village houses about 1,000 people more than it originally expected. There were transportation problems early on, but the International Olympic Committee seems to have ironed them out, Richardson said.

Maybe because of the extra people, organizers have shipped an extra 20,000 condoms into the village, although Richardson said athletes are probably hoarding them, rather than using them.

``There is not a lot of evidence″ of condom use, he said. ``I suspect there has been some stockpiling rather than abuse.″

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