NEWS

Ominous rumblings from IOC

As Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Athens 2004 chief Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki met yesterday to discuss the state of preparations for next summer’s Games, a senior International Olympic Committee official was quoted as advocating an IOC presence on Greece’s Olympic organizing committee. Yesterday’s meeting is believed to have focused on problems, such as delays in a much-advertised refurbishment program for the main Olympic stadium by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava and difficulties caused by Athens local officials filing suits against certain Games-linked projects. According to a report this week in Australia’s Herald Sun newspaper, IOC Vice President Kevan Gosper has warned that the quality of the Athens Games is in jeopardy unless preparations are accelerated. The paper quoted Gosper as saying the IOC is considering installing its own staff in senior Athens 2004 positions. «Athens runs the risk of being the distressful meat in the sandwich between two great Games,» he said. Last month, IOC President Jacques Rogge roasted Greece for foot-dragging.