Olympic committee opposes use of velodrome for refugees


Greece’s national Olympic committee says it strongly opposes the idea of using a former Olympic velodrome in Athens to temporarily shelter refugees who are reaching the country by the thousands each day.

The committee said Wednesday that all available sporting venues are “absolutely necessary” to help Greek athletes prepare for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. It said the velodrome is the only available racing venue in the country and using it for refugees would cause competitive cycling to “completely wither” in Greece.

The government has not confirmed press reports that it wants to house refugees in the velodrome. Several disused former Olympic venues in Athens are being used to temporarily shelter migrants, more than 600,000 of whom have reached Greece this year.