Exclusive: Sochi 2014 under pressure over training access to venues
Saturday, 28 April 2012
April 28 - Organisers of Sochi 2014 have been told that they need to allow more access to the venues hosting the Winter Olympics so that teams can train there before the Games.
The warning came from Gunilla Lindberg, the secretary general of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) and a member of the International Olympic Committe's ruling Executive Committee.
The influential Swede wasted no opportunity at the European Olympic Committees (EOC) 33rd Seminar here in the Hungarian capital to make it clear that she expected Sochi to sort out the issue.
"The biggest problem is with the access to the training venues," Lindberg said during a presentation to the 47 members of the EOC present.
"I have raised this issue at the highest level.
"If you host the Olympic Games everyone has to have access to the training venues.
"[Sochi] has promised many times it would be solved but it hasn't been solved.
"We need 100 per cent guarantees for the new [winter] season [that there will be access]."
Lindberg was barely appeased by the response of Anastasia Kristova, the Sochi 2014 services director for National Olympic Committees, who gave a presentation.
"We are working on these questions internally," she told the meeting.
"As soon as we have news we will update you on the progress."
The issue of training time at venues for the Winter Olympics is much more in the spotlight for Sochi because of the death of Georgia's Nodar Kumaritashvili (pictured), a luger who was killed on the morning of the Opening Ceremony at Vancouver in 2010.
Lack of preparation on the track was among the reasons cited for his death.
Sochi has promised more preparation time for athletes competing in the luge, bobsleigh and skeleton but Lindberg is growing frustrated at the delays.
"Really, this is crucial," she said.
"I hope we have this information after London  in September."
March 2012: Sochi 2014 bobsleigh track ready for international certification, says FIBT President Ferriani
April 2010: Sochi promise to take no risks over luge track for 2014 Olympics