SPORTS

2004 work has ‘lost’ 3 months, Oswald says

International Olympic Committee inspectors will seek updates this week on the «most critical» concerns for 2004 preparations including venues still delayed or unresolved, the IOC’s chief Athens overseer said yesterday. The meetings will take place tomorrow with two IOC envoys – an advance team before a major review scheduled for November. «They have a few points on the agenda. They want to review, let’s say, the most critical issues they have,» Denis Oswald told The Associated Press. The main worries in Athens remain unchanged: building the venues on time, handling transport in the traffic-clogged city and finding places for spectators with all main hotels filled with IOC delegations, sponsors and other dignitaries. The IOC team will demand details of efforts to build a sports complex at Athens’s old international airport at Hellenikon. Work had been tied up in legal challenges. He said the country’s highest administrative court, the Council of State, gave approval in July for all the venues: baseball, softball, hockey, basketball preliminaries, and canoeing and kayak. But since then work has moved ahead slowly. «Everybody was confident that they would be able to catch up the time, but they have lost two or three months,» Oswald said. (AP)