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Pope To Athletes: Respect Your Bodies

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VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI has warned athletes not to strengthen their bodies "at all costs" or through illegal substances.

Benedict said Monday that sports, when done with passion, can help develop ethics and a taste for "healthy competitiveness."

But he said during an audience at the Vatican with a group of ski instructors that an athlete's body "cannot be considered an object" or be "worshipped."

Instead, it should be respected and not treated like a "tool to be strengthened at all costs, maybe even using unlawful means."