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Swimming World Governing Body Criticizes Olympic Organizers - 2004-03-22


Swimming's world governing body FINA has criticized Athens Olympic planners for scrapping plans to build a roof over the main pool. The organizers decided Saturday that it would be impossible to complete the construction in time for the start of the Games on August 13.

In a statement from its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, FINA said Monday that a roof-less pool violates agreements and will expose athletes and spectators to scorching summer heat. The statement added that the change in plans will compromise the quality of television coverage, and that FINA regrets the decision very much.

FINA said Greek government officials had promised to have a roof ready by July 15, about a month before the opening ceremony. That decision came as government officials again pledged to overcome construction problems, including a much-delayed showcase roof for the main Olympic stadium.

International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge has given Greece until next week to make firm decisions on delayed projects. Other problem projects include widening the marathon route, a light rail line from the airport to the main Olympic complex, and tram line connecting the city center with seaside venues.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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