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Rogge: Athens 2004 weighed on debt

The 2004 Olympic Games in Athens did aggravate the Greek debt to an extent, the head of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge, said in an exclusive interview with Kathimerini.

?You can fairly say that the 2004 Games played their part. If you look at the external debt of Greece, there could be up to 2 to 3 percent of that which could be attributed to the Games. It could have been staged at a much lower cost, as there were delays that rendered double shifts necessary, and having people work at night does cost more,? said Rogge.

The 69-year-old Belgian, who was in Athens earlier this month for the lighting of the flame for the 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck, also stated that the post-Game utilization of the installations should have been prepared better, although there was some success in cases like the Badminton Center, which is now the Badminton Theater.

Rogge went on to suggest that sprinter Katerina Thanou, who received a two-year ban for missing a doping test in 2004, did not get the gold medal for the Sydney Olympics that should have been hers after disgraced rival Marion Jones returned it in 2007, as the 200-m silver medalist had betrayed the Olympic values. He also claimed Thanou missed the 2008 Olympics due to not qualifying, although she had actually made the cut.