SPORTS

Three dismissed from Athens 2004 over leak

The head of Olympic Games Athens 2004, Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, yesterday fired three managers yesterday, in response to the leaking of an internal working document which became the subject of a hot debate in Parliament last week. The three people whose resignations were demanded are Theodoros Giannakopoulos, General Manager for Olympic Works; Elli Papaconstantinou, manager for Olympic Projects; and Angelopoulos-Daskalakis’s technical adviser, Dimitris Leonidopoulos. According to sources, Papaconstantinou, a long-time collaborator of Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, has refused to submit her resignation and her contract will be revoked. Last week, opposition leader Costas Karamanlis sprung a surprise on Prime Minister Costas Simitis during a parliamentary debate on the Olympics, by revealing a document which showed that progress on most works was lagging behind. The projects were colored green (those on which progress was within, or ahead, of schedule), yellow (those having fallen slightly behind) and red (those having fallen further behind). Karamanlis used the document to challenge Simitis’s assertion that preparations, after initial delays, were mostly going well. The embarrassed government immediately demanded to know who had leaked the document to the opposition. Angelopoulos-Daskalaki promised to investigate. On Tuesday, during a press conference given by Denis Oswald, the visiting Chairman of the International Olympic Committee’s Coordination Commission overseeing the organization of the Games, Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, asked about the leak, replied that it was «an internal matter for Athens 2004,» adding that announcements would be made at an appropriate time. Oswald downplayed the significance of the document, saying that it was a purely internal one, updated every day. He also downplayed the significance of the projects marked in red, saying they could only be slightly delayed and their status could easily change. Some people acted as if they had discovered a great secret,» he said. Oswald added that the document was not communicated to the government. Yesterday, Angelopoulos-Daskalaki met Simitis to review Oswald’s visit and brief him on the matter. It appears that the departure of the three would be only a first step toward the reorganization of Athens 2004. The body was to announce today that the three had resigned for «reasons of personal sensitivity.» However, this announcement was pre-empted by another leak.