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Home >> Sports
UPDATED: 09:01, October 27, 2006
IOC praises planners' eye for detail
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The attention to detail in the preparations for the Beijing Olympics, has caught the eye of top International Olympic Committee (IOC) officials.

Yesterday Hein Verbruggen chairman of the IOC Co-ordination Commission for the Beijing Games said he was impressed by the "less tangible elements" of Beijing's preparations for the 2008 Games.

"There are other things that determine the image of the Games that's why they give so much attention to the look, the graphics, to all these things that determine the perception of the Games at the level of people abroad and in China," said Verbruggen.

Speaking after the conclusion of the co-ordination meeting with the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG), he praised everything from the logo to the Fuwa mascots.

"We've been happy from the very beginning," he said. "For instance the logo, the mascots and everything are really high-quality work."

As the Games draw near, concerns have been raised about Beijing's air quality, traffic and media service. But the IOC said it is confident BOCOG can deliver a great Games.

"(Media coverage) is not a big topic between BOCOG and us, because BOCOG has given us all the assurance that the media will be able to do their work as they did in Athens and Sydney," said Verbruggen.

"In their bid it was clearly said that there will be no restrictions on journalists and reporting on the Olympic Games and a guideline for the media will be published next year. We have no worries about that."

For the environment and transport issues, Verbruggen admitted there would be challenges for the Beijing organizers, but still affirmed their progress.

"The environment is a challenge for the organizers here, but the bid book gave us about 350 guarantees of measures that will be taken to improve the environment. We haven't seen any that they are not willing to keep," he said.

He said in the bid Beijing promised to spend US$12.3 billion on improving the environment and had already moved the Beijing Shougang Group's steel works out of the city.

"They really work very hard on improving the environment here in Beijing and they really live up to their promises," added Verbruggen.

More doping tests

In another development, athletes will face more tests for performance-enhancing drugs at the 2008 Olympics, the IOC announced yesterday.

There will be a 25 per cent increase in testing from the 2004 Athens Games, raising the number of tests to 4,500.

The IOC said the increase was part of its zero-tolerance approach to fighting doping.

It follows a similar rise in testing between the 2000 Sydney Games and Athens. About 3,500 doping tests were performed in Athens, with 22 athletes testing positive for banned substances or violating anti-doping regulations.

The Athens total was itself a 25 per cent rise on the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney, where 11 athletes were caught cheating.

Source: China Daily

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