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Mean-spirited Olympics chiefs have already banned frisbees, flags and oversized hats in a list of oppressive rules to keep ticketholders under control. But now it has emerged sports fans will also be hauled out of official London 2012 venues for daring to wear a Pepsi T-shirt – simply because it is not an accredited sponsor.
In the latest example of the increasing dominance of commercial sponsors in international sport, the draconian law was revealed by Olympic supremo Sebastian Coe today as he defended claims of a heavy-handed approach to protecting endorsers’ rights.
Lord Coe told him: ‘No, you probably wouldn’t be walking in with a Pepsi T-shirt because Coca-Cola are our sponsors and they have put millions of pounds into this project but also millions of pounds into grassroots sport. It is important to protect those sponsors.’
Among the many items banned at the Games, balls, long-lens cameras, clothing with political statements, noisemakers and bottled water are just a few on the list.