Jamaican legend Asafa Powell questions relevance of 'anti-sex beds' at Paris Olympics

Jamaican legend Asafa Powell questions relevance of 'anti-sex beds' at Paris Olympics

Mark Kinyanjui 19:57 - 16.06.2024

Asafa Powell has joined Justin Gatlin in voicing their displeasure against the so-called 'anti-sex beds' which athletes will use at the Paris Olympic Games.

Retired Jamaican sprinting legend Asafa Powell has raised questions about the International Olympic Committee's decision to implement the use of cardboard-made 'anti-sex beds' for the upcoming Paris Olympic Games. 

These beds, produced by Japanese company Airweave and previously used during the Tokyo 2020 Games, were designed to discourage athletes from engaging in intimate activities, especially in the so-called "City of Love."

The beds are constructed from recycled cardboard, and during a demonstration last year, Airweave founder Motokuni Takaoka proved their sturdiness by jumping on one, claiming they "can support several people on top." Athletes will sleep in single beds, sharing rooms in the newly-built village complex near the main athletics stadium in northern Paris.

During a discussion on his podcast, The Powells, with his wife, fellow sprinter Noah Lyles, and his Jamaican girlfriend Junelle Bromfield, Powell compared the situation to being in high school with strict rules. He questioned the relevance and necessity of such measures, given the maturity of most athletes.

“This is not high school. We are adults. You have people there in their 40s and you even have 30-year-olds,” Powell said.

“You might find the odd 16-year-old, but most people are adults. Why are you conditioning them not to do as they wish? Even when you walk into the Championships (Village), the first thing you see is a room stacked with condoms.

“It is like they are telling you to go do it. What bed will stop you from doing it? Unless those beds have spikes. Why would they be comfortable for your elite athletes who are trying to win gold medals and are training for four years just to go sleep on cardboard boxes? It sounds very weird.”

Former Olympic 100m champion Justin Gatlin also expressed skepticism about the use of these beds on his podcast, Ready-Set-Go. He questioned why such measures are deemed necessary and argued that athletes should be allowed to enjoy their time as they wish.

“There are comings and goings. They are all adults. Let them have fun how they wish to have. I do not understand why this is a problem that they feel like they have to fix,” Gatlin said.

However, organisers have maintained that the beds were chosen primarily for their environmental benefits, not to deter athletes from engaging in sexual activities.

A spokesman for the Paris Games emphasized the environmental credentials of the beds, stating, "We know the media has had a lot of fun with this story since Tokyo 2020, but for Paris 2024 the choice of these beds for the Olympic and Paralympic Village is primarily linked to a wider ambition to ensure minimal environmental impact and a second life for all equipment."

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