As I was reading the newspaper, the above picture catches my interest. I do not really know the (football) player but what he is wearing is more important.
He is a German player, Mario Gomez, a striker i think, pictured while training for EURO 2008. And he is wearing a heart rate monitor. The HRM helps him to evaluate his physiological well being during training not unlike an electrocardiogram (by the way, the picture is of him after training, hence the position of the transmitter on the stomach. It should be located on the chest)
So, the bottom line is, he's an international football player, a professional at that, and he wears a HRM to let him (or his team) monitor his workout, with variables such as average heart rate over exercise period, time in a specific heart rate zone, calories burned, and detailed logging that can be downloaded to a computer.
Why is it too hard to get OUR athletes to wear heart rate monitors? Afraid that someone would know that you have not been training hard and smart enough?