Page last updated at 10:01 GMT, Friday, 6 November 2009

China to auction Olympics condoms

Chinese Athlete starts the Olympic Torch relay in Beijing
Faster higher stronger was China's Olympic promise

When the Olympics hosted by Beijing ended, a collector snapped up the 5,000 condoms left over from the 100,000 distributed free to athletes.

The collection has now been put up for a one-off auction, with a starting price of one yuan ($0.15; £0.08) each.

Each condom wrapper carries the motto of the Beijing Games - faster, higher, stronger - in English and Chinese.

The sale will also feature other Olympics memorabilia, the China Daily newspaper reported.

Shy bidders

The entire lot of 5,000 must be purchased by one buyer at the Exceptional Auction of China Sport Collection on 29 November.

"The move is to grab more attention from the public to promote the awareness of safe sex and the prevention of HIV/Aids," said Guo Lei of the Sport Collection of China Collector Association, the auction's host.

Condoms have been handed out to Olympic athletes since Barcelona hosted the Games in 1992.

Some potential buyers might be reluctant to bid for the condoms but being married might help, said Mr Guo.

"Although anyone married should be interested for their practical use, some people will be too shy to bid for the condoms," the paper quoted him as saying.

The owner of the condoms, sport memorabilia collector Zhao Xiaokai, is also selling a torch autographed by Brazilian football legend Pele and a Chinese medicine case from the 1936 Games.

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