June 20, 2008 / 12:32 PM / 11 years ago

Pools in security lather over shampoo

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - All public swimming pools in Olympic co-host city Shanghai will check shampoos, body wash and other liquids before allowing entry to guard against explosions or other “terrorist attacks,” state media reported Friday.

China has said terrorism is the biggest threat to the Olympics Games, opening on August 8, and has introduced a flurry of measures in recent months to boost security. Shanghai will host some soccer qualifiers.

Shanghai’s public pools would be required to post specially trained staff at their gates to conduct the checks, the Shanghai Daily said, citing the city’s Social Sports Administrative Center.

“Pool guests who bring these items must allow them to be opened and inspected. Security personnel will smell them to see whether they are safe or not,” a separate report posted on the city’s sport bureau’s website said (www.shsports.gov.cn).

Some 400 of the city’s more than 450 pools had passed safety examinations, but some local pools were oblivious of the new rule, the report said.

“You can bring shampoo and body wash here, there’s no need to accept an inspection,” staff at one local pool were quoted as saying.

Authorities have intensified security measures at airports and railway and subway stations in Beijing, where most Olympic events will be held, at times to the derision of local residents.

Commuters carrying bottled drinks on Beijing’s subway were bemused last month when station workers began demanding they take a swig to prove they were not holding banned liquids like petrol.

Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Nick Macfie

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