Athens 2004 organisers apologise for 'dove nesting during medal ceremony' incident

Senior organisers tell of long held fears that Olympic 'crowns' could be mistaken for nests
Doves have become overly friendly with some competitors

Athens, Greece: Olympic organisers have apologised for an incident in which doves attempted to nest during a medal ceremony.

Competitors have since been advised not to feed bread to the doves or encourage them by 'cooing' to them.

Whilst security is tight at the Athens Olympics, stray doves have been seen circling overhead during some events.

Organisers have said they fear a repeat of the incident in which some of the more friendly doves have become intent on nesting in the head adornments during the medal ceremonies.

As one security expert told us:

"If the doves get that close to the athletes there's just no way we can safely blast'em."

The head-crowns were introduced as an homage to the ancient Olympics, however modern doves, looking for a place to settle, are thought likely to attempt to nest in them if the Olympians stand still long enough.

This is particularly worrying during the outside medal ceremonies, especially around water, our experts insist.

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