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29 Nov 2006
IOC News

Excerpts from the IOC President’s final press conference in Kuwait City:

On the progress of the London 2012 Games:
We are very happy. We continue to be impressed by the vision of London, what they want to do with their Games as they have a great catalyst effect to make other projects come to life, such as the renewal of East London, and this is also something that is very important.
On Jack Lemley’s comments on the rising costs and slow progress of the preparations for London 2012:
No, I was not concerned because I had a very good briefing by Denis Oswald and Gilbert Felli. You know, in every organization and especially in the organization of the Games, you have people who come and who go. This is an organization that is in constant change. I always refer to the fact that when I was chairing the Coordination of Sydney, I had 4 Chief Executive Officers (CEO) and 5 Presidents. When I chaired the Athens Coordination Commission, I had 4 CEOs and 4 Presidents. And we are still on one CEO and one President for London, so we should not exaggerate the fact that someone is leaving!
On the substance of what this gentleman said, I respect his opinion, but this is not the opinion that is shared by the International Olympic Committee.
On the misconception in London of the two budgets, operational and infrastructure:
Well I think we have 3 priorities on that, communication, communication and communication. We have to communicate better and everyone has to communicate better, the government, the Organising Committee, the International Olympic Committee. We keep repeating that there are two budgets. The operational budget and what I would call the infrastructure budget. The infrastructure budget will leave a legacy to the city, the operational budget, not very much. The legacy is a very important aspect and you know that we are very keen on that.
In the situation that happened two weeks ago in the media, I believe there has probably been some confusion between operational budget and infrastructure budget. Also, the name of the Olympic Delivery Authority might be confusing, because this authority is delivering far more things than the Games will need. People tend to agglomerate everything and make one complex of it.
On Beijing and the environment:
Beijing is doing well. We had a very good discussion with the Organising Committee on the issue of environment. During my last stay in Beijing, we also had a discussion with the Prime Minister on that and they are doing much more effort to find a solution. Already there is a good improvement. We have seen that the numbers of the pollution indicators are going down and we believe that the measures that they are taking are going to come to fruition at Games time.
On the status of the Walter Mayer case:
Today we still have no final report. We know that the Italian authorities are working, continuing their inquiry, to which the International Olympic Committee contributes and participates. I am absolutely convinced that yes, we will have a complete report, that will be very comprehensive. When, I can’t tell you because justice is driving quite slowly and it may take another period before we get that, but we will get there, there is no doubt about that.
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