The organisers of a major sporting event in Samoa have said they will change guidance that banned gay and lesbian competitors from having sex.

The rules, published by Samoa team managers yesterday, apply only to Samoan athletes competing in the Pacific Games, a multi-sport event held later this year.

The organising committee moved quickly to reject the rules and order changes.

The Samoa National Olympic Committee president and organising committee chairman, Tapasu Leung Wai, told Radio Australia that the gay sex ban was not endorsed by the committee.

“I regret that it appeared that gay people were being singled out in the draft instructions,” he said.

“Team managers agreed yesterday that the reference be deleted.”

The original rules were published in a Samoan newspaper, and were designed to stop athletes “embarassing” the country.

Samoa will play host to 5,000 people from more than twenty countries in August and September.

The Pacific Games are held every four years. The two week 2007 Games in Apia in Samoa are the 13th.

Countries from around the region compete in a range of sports from archery to wrestling.