IOC cuts off Nine for breaking filming rules

Interview in Water Cube drew rival Seven's ire

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SYDNEY -- The International Olympic Committee has banned camera crews from Australia's Nine Network from filming in and around the public areas of Olympic venues until Aug. 13, after breaching IOC rules on non-rights-holders filming inside venues.

The ban follows a complaint from Australian Olympic rights-holder the Seven Network, which said that a Nine camera crew and reporter had been "illegally" filming the Australian swim team training inside the National Aquatics Stadium earlier in the week.

The IOC informed Nine Network Olympics director Gary Fenton of the sanction Wednesday, saying "that the IOC takes this as a serious breach of the news access rules, that nonrights holders are not permitted to access or operate, with equipment, within any Olympic venue."

Immediately after the breach was reported, the IOC received a formal apology from Nine, which also promised not to air the footage.

Nine has a crew of 20 covering the Games for its news programs.

Reporter Michael Usher told local media that the ban meant Nine would "miss some crowd color" during the next week but still would be able to conduct interviews with athletes.

"There was an error, it was honest and we apologized very quickly," Usher said.