ATHENS – The government and national organisers of the Athens 2004 Olympics have decided to scrap an existing plan for construction of a roof for the swimming pool in the main stadium’s aquatic centre.
”Unfortunately, delays in design of the project are such that major qualms have emerged as to whether the roof can be completed in time, and safely,” the alternate culture minister, Fanny Palli-Petralia, said in a statement on Saturday.
”After the (new) government came to power and at the request of the IOC, the government and the Athens 2004 organising committee reviewed the situation in detail, concluding that the draft contract and (preliminary) design lack needed guarantees,” Palli-Petralia said.
Under the terms of the contract, the work would have been ready on July 30, when swimmers competing in the August Olympics are to begin training for events.
”Consequently, any unexpected event or delay would result in an inability to stage the swimming competitions,” Palli-Petralia added.
In a separate statement, the national Olympics organisers said that due to delays in design, timely completion of the roof could not be guaranteed, jeopardising the swimming events.
The IOC had asked the government and organisers to work on contingency plans with no roof for the pool to ensure that there would be no adverse effects for athletes, for the sport or for broadcasting, the statement added.