Olympic organisers slam Australia - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Olympic organisers slam Australia

By Sharon Mathieson 24/05/2004 08:00:46 PM Comments (0)

Greek Olympic organisers said Australia had issued ill-informed and damaging travel advice ahead of the Athens games, unnecessarily raising fears of a terrorist attack.

Athens Organising Committee president Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki criticised Australia's decision to issue a travel warning to tourists planning to visit the Olympic city to beware of bombs, hooligans, sexual predators and other criminals.

She said the Australian warning would only encourage terrorists and distract athletes with unnecessary fears.

In her keynote address to launch an international Olympic security summit, Mrs Angelopoulos-Daskalaki said Australia's advice was ill-informed and damaging to the Games.

"One of our Olympic advisory group partners, Australia, chose the middle of an overwhelmingly successful IOC (International Olympic Committee) coordination commission meeting to release a warning regarding travel to Greece," she said.

"I worry that harm is being done to the Olympic Games.

"By unnecessarily raising anxiety levels with uninformed comments can only distract young men and women who may never again have the opportunity to compete in an Olympic Games."

Australia upgraded its travel advice to Greece after bomb attacks outside a police station in Athens at the start of the 100-day countdown to the Games.

"Australians in Greece are advised to exercise caution and keep themselves informed of developments that might affect their safety," the advice says.

"Australians should be aware of a recent series of firebomb attacks on domestic, political and commercial premises in Greece, mainly in Athens and Thessaloniki."

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