Gladiator in fight – shock

Last Saturday's tabloids splashed with the news that a star of TV4's 'Gladiators' was arrested after a fight outside a Stockholm bar. He was reportedly under the influence of drugs but the police weren't sure whether it was cocaine or ephedrine. "It's hard to tell the difference," a policeman told Expressen.

Speaking to Aftonbladet the head of entertainment at TV4, Anders Knave, said that if the allegations were true, “It would be hard to see how he could work on a programme like Gladiators.” Frankly, he sounds perfect for the show. Or perhaps Knave was disappointed that “the well- built gladiator tried to flee from the scene, but didn’t get very far before he was caught by police.”

The bar was unidentified, but the owners should consider joining other central Stockholm establishments of a new initiative called ‘Bars Against Drugs’. DN quoted the head of security at Café Opera, Haidi Westring: “At last, security guards, proprietors and police are working together. If a guest is clearly on drugs he or she will be refused entry and reported to the police.”

It seems, though, that customers are the least of the problem. According to DN, 41% of bar staff aged 18-24 use drugs at least once a week, and Bars Against Drugs is now in discussions with unions about regular drug testing for personnel.

And the puritans aren’t stopping at drugs, as Stefan Wolff, proprietor of Stockholm restaurant Cliff Barnes discovered on Tuesday. Svenska Dagbladet reported that he was told by city officials to take down a sign which broke alcohol marketing regulations.

“This feels unbelievably harsh,” said Wolff. “We had hoped for a common-sense decision.”

The offending sign read, “You can have fun without alcohol – but why risk it?” The Local will drink to that.