Page last updated at 15:38 GMT, Sunday, 12 July 2009 16:38 UK

Olympic hopeful opens NZ brothel

Prostitute in Sydney (file pic)
Prostitutes in New Zealand are not forced to walk the streets

An Olympic hopeful from New Zealand has opened a brothel in a bid to raise cash for a tilt at taekwondo glory in 2012.

Logan Campbell, 23, competed at Beijing in 2008, but has now opened a 14-room "gentleman's club" after becoming tired of seeking funding from his parents.

New Zealand decriminalised prostitution six years ago, and brothels are allowed to operate with few restrictions.

But NZ Olympic officials say Campbell's business venture may count against him when choosing a team for London 2012.

"Selection takes into account not just performance but also the athlete's ability to serve as an example to the youth of the country," Team NZ funding manager John Schofield told the country's Sunday Star Times newspaper.

Training schedule

Logan Campbell says he began looking for alternative ways of raising Olympic funding when he realised how difficult it was proving to raise adequate cash to support his training towards a place at the London Olympics.

Logan Campbell (left) fights Sung Yu-Chi
Mum was hesitant but she met the girls, a couple came over to her house and she was sweet as
Logan Campbell

Competing in Beijing a year ago, Campbell lost to a Taiwanese fighter, Sung Yu-Chi, who eventually won a bronze medal.

Speaking to the Sunday Star Times, Campbell noted that his opponent was the equivalent of a "movie star" in his homeland.

His own costs leading up to Beijing totalled some NZ$150,000 (£58,000), much of it provided by his hard-working parents, Campbell noted.

To take the financial strain from his parents Campbell has gone into partnership with Hugo Philiips, a 20-year-old accountancy graduate, to set up what the pair insist is a "high-class" escort agency.

He hopes to take a couple of years off to work full-time on the new venture, before returning to training in 2011 with a NZ$300,000 Olympic kitty.

Brothels allowed to operate
Up to four prostitutes can set up collective as equal partners
Advertising sale of sex legalised
Brothels require certificate and registration by court
Sex work subject to normal employment and health and safety standards

"When people think of a pimp they think of a guy standing around on a street corner with gold chains," he told the Sunday Star Times.

"Pimps are more tough-type guys. I'm an owner of an escort agency."

He accepts that his chosen profession carries with it a certain reputation.

"Mum was hesitant but she met the girls, a couple came over to her house and she was sweet as. She realised they were just normal people supporting their kids and stuff."

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