NEWS

2004 test events ‘a success’

Athens 2004’s chief yesterday played down rumors of an impending pogrom of organizing committee officials in the wake of last month’s test events, but stressed that incompetents will be ditched. «Nobody is irreplaceable,» Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki said. «Everyone is being evaluated, and those who do not do their job properly will be replaced. If changes are required, I will make them… But blood will not flow just so that some people can see it. The question of major changes has been invented by others.» Angelopoulos-Daskalaki said the seven Olympics test events held last month at venues to be used during next August’s Games had been an overall success, with the exception of the group salmonella poisoning that knocked a German team out of the World Junior Rowing Championships at Schinias. The athletes are believed to have contracted the bug from tainted food at their hotel. «What counts most for me is the salmonella issue because these athletes were guests in our country,» Angelopoulos-Daskalaki said, hinting at incompetence on the part of state health inspectors. «What was at fault? I would point to incompatible mentalities and ineffective prevention and control structures. We must all be alert and display responsibility.» Athens 2004 Executive Director Marton Simitsek said only 7 percent of volunteer workers had failed to turn up at Olympic venues during the test events, which were attended by a total of 11,756 free pass-holding spectators. The highest attendance – 4,227 – was at the beach volleyball event, with rowing coming next at 2,802. A total of 1,886 passes were issued for the equestrian events, 1,430 for the canoe-kayak flat-water race and 1,411 for the archery competition.