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28 Nov 2003
IOC News

"Tremendous progress being made in Athens"

Speaking at a press conference on 27 November in Athens, IOC President Rogge stated that "tremendous progress has been made in the last 10 months. I was really amazed to see the changes but also very happy of course about that. In saying that, it is clear also, however, that the deadlines are tight and everyone, I believe, is very much aware of that."

Transport problems solved
President Rogge assured the media that transport problems have been solved: "We had a concern with the tramway, but our experts made a visit and discussed this with the builders, and the concerns about the tramway have been resolved. The same concerns about the suburban railway have been totally resolved, and we have noted with great pleasure the good progress on the construction of the Calatrava Roof over the Olympic Stadium."

25% increase in doping controls
Rogge made it also clear that at the Athens Games the IOC will increase anti-doping efforts by 25%, just like in Salt Lake City. "We will test many more athletes than we have done in previous Games and also, as you know, we have increased our testing capacity, among others with THG, and we hope that other products will follow that we can test in the future", he said.

THG scandal "limited"
Rogge further stated on the THG issue: "All the indications today are that THG is, of course, a scandal but THG is most probably a very limited issue. THG seems today to be limited to the athletes who were in contact with this Californian lab."

Security: the number one priority
Concerning security, the President made it clear, "that it is the number one problem and priority not only of the Olympic Games in Athens, but also of the whole world. Since September 11, the world has changed. And all of us citizens of the world, in every country, we are affected or will be affected by that. There is a danger of terrorism and that danger is not limited to a certain number of countries. The danger can happen in all countries of the world. It can happen in Greece, as it can happen in any other country that I could name."

Shotput in Olympia will be examined
Regarding the proposal of the shotput being transferred to Olympia, the IOC President made it clear "that we will study the measures being proposed". In detail, Rogge explained, that this means that the IOC, together with ATHOC, will examine the whole logistical issue because "it is just not enough to say we will organise it". There are a lot of issues that have to be covered: the date, transport of athletes, transport of the media, media facilities, accommodation, security and broadcasting.

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