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IOC Inspectors to Focus on Athens Transportation and Venue Construction - 2001-11-22

A team of International Olympic Committee inspectors is going over Athens' preparations to host the 2004 Olympics, with the focus on transportation and venue construction.

During the two day visit, inspectors will look at several crucial venues, including the one for gymnastics and table tennis in the eastern suburb of Galatsi.

The IOC has asked Greek organizers to prepare contingency plans in case several transport projects are delayed or canceled. Greek officials say that some road projects have been canceled because of the fear of lawsuits from local residents.

Residents of the seaside suburb of Faliron have also protested the building of the Olympic sailing venue next to their homes. The resort of Schinias has also been locked in a battle over the construction of the rowing and canoeing venue near the ancient Marathon battlefield.

The IOC is concerned the venues will not be ready in time for test events staged during the year leading up to the games. It is now certain that several sports, including track and field and rowing, will not be able to hold competitions in Athens until just a few weeks before the games.