NEWS

British deny Olympic fears

LONDON (AP) – The British Olympic Association said yesterday it has confidence in security measures for the Athens Games and has no intention of withdrawing its team. The BOA sought to clarify its position after its chief executive, Simon Clegg, said Britain would consider pulling out of the Aug. 13-29 Olympics if the safety of its athletes and officials couldn’t be guaranteed. Security concerns for the Games have increased following last week’s terrorist bombings in Madrid. «If the security situation demanded a change to the position of the BOA with the ultimate sanction of not sending the team to the Games, then obviously as a responsible organization that is something that we would have to consider,» he said in a BBC radio interview on Thursday night. But Clegg stressed he does not expect that situation to occur and looks forward to taking a full team to Athens. Clegg didn’t return a phone call yesterday, but BOA spokesman Philip Pope said his comments had only dealt with a «doomsday scenario.» «Our position on security hasn’t changed,» Pope said. «Security is of paramount importance. We are in regular contact with all relevant national and international security agencies to make sure security provisions for our athletes are as good as they can be.» «We are very confident the provisions will be adequate,» he added. «Naturally NOCs (national Olympic committees) have the right to review their arrangements as circumstances dictate, but we don’t envision having to change our approach.» [A massive Greek-US security exercise aimed to address possible attacks during the August 13-29 Games enters its 11th day today. “Shield of Hercules» ends next week.]