SPORTS

Bulgaria hopes to gain from 2004 Games

SOFIA (Reuters) – Bulgaria hopes to raise funds for the modernization of its sports facilities by offering itself as an inexpensive base for foreign athletes preparing for the 2004 Olympic Games in neighboring Greece. «Our climate is the closest to the climate in Greece. Italy and France also have the same climate and their sports complexes are unique,» Vassil Ivanov, the new president of the State Agency for Youth and Sports, told Reuters yesterday, adding: «But I think that the prices we will offer will be competitive.» He said that sports organizations from countries in Asia, South America and Africa had already shown an interest in using Bulgaria’s facilities in preparation for Athens 2004. One complex is at Belmeken, a mountain location two kilometers above sea-level. «This is the best complex for aerobic recreation and athletes can take their doping from nature there – no need for medicines or chemicals,» Ivanov said.