The ban has been imposed as a measure to keep athletes safe at the upcoming Games.
Australian athletes have been told they are not allowed to accept the 23 condoms set to be made available to each of the 6,000 athletes and officials at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Games organisers announced in February that 150,000 condoms had been ordered for the Games for athletes and officials to use across the 12-day sporting festival.
Australian team deputy head of athlete health and safety Rex Du said the ban had been imposed to “keep athletes safe” and ensure they focus on “why they are there”.
The Commonwealth Games are an important international event and we want our team to focus on the reason they are there… and that’s to compete”, Mr Du said.
And in any case, with the COVID protocols in place there will be little opportunity for athletes and officials to make use of one, let alone the 23 condoms organisers have earmarked for every athlete and officials.
“Hanky-panky is hardly COVID-safe so we have decided to ban it.. and therefore there will be no need for every member of the Australian team to receive their allocation of 23 condoms.”
A Birmingham City Council health and social care overview and scrutiny committee meeting in February advised that 50,000 condoms would be provided for each of the three main village sites to be used at the Games – the University of Birmingham, the University of Warwick as well as at the NEC Hotel Campus.
Council’s manager for public health Larry Styles said “it isn’t such a big number” given the number of athletes and team members.
“We are expecting 6,500 athletes and team officials for the Games so that means 23 condoms could be available to each person”.
Condoms are regularly handed out at major sporting events, with 160,000 distributed at last year’s Olympics in Tokyo.
But ahead of that event, the International Olympic Committee warned competitors not to break social distancing guidelines including having safe sex.
Mr Styles said it was still too soon to say whether a similar warning would be made for the Games.
“We are continuing to monitor the situation closely in regard to COVID 19, working with health experts and national authorities, to ensure we all have robust measures in place so that together we can deliver a safe Games.”
Happy April Fools’ Day!