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No drowning your sorrows: Indonesia bans booze at athletes' villages

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JAKARTA (Reuters) – Athletes competing in the Asian Games in Indonesia have been banned from consuming alcohol in their accommodation in the host cities of Jakarta and Palembang, officials said on Monday.Athletes who had lost their events, or were no longer competing, had a habit of turning to alcohol, said Harry Warganegara, deputy of sports at the Indonesian Asian Games Organising Committee.

“Those bringing beer from outside athletes’ villages will be held before entering. We’ve seized many bottles and cans of beer that athletes and officials have tried to bring in from outside the villages,” Warganegara told reporters. He said that the some mission heads also could not fully control their athletes and officials.

“Thus we’re also preventing officials from bringing beer into the athletes’ village,” he said. The Indonesian organising committee said it was enforcing an Olympic Council of Asia regulation that prohibits the consumption of liquor in athletes’ housing.

Muslim-majority Indonesia imposes high rates of tax on imported alcohol, but it is widely available in cities and tourist areas.

The Asian Games runs until Sept 2.

(Reporting by Fanny Potkin; Editing by Ed Davies and Pritha Sarkar)

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