By Liam Morgan

FIS President Gian-Franco Kasper has claimed it will be impossible for test events ahead of the 2022 Olympic Games in Pyeongchang to take place as planned ©Getty Images Pyeongchang 2018 have dismissed claims from International Ski Federation (FIS) President Gian-Franco Kasper it will be "impossible" for test events ahead of the Winter Olympic Games to take place as planned next year.

Kasper, head of the FIS since 1998 and an influential International Olympic Committee (IOC) member, expressed concerns about the South Korean nation's hosting of the Games in three years' time.

The Swiss, who is also President of the Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations, claims proposed venue changes among continued political problems will harm the possibility of hosting test events and that World Cup events in the snowboard halfpipe and parallel slalom disciplines are in jeopardy as a result.

"We had them here, a big delegation [Pyeongchang organisers] and now they think about changing snowboard, freestyle, everything, although it is almost finished," Kasper told Reuters.

"The new places make test events almost impossible, next year, particularly the Alpine.

"We had all the promises but nothing happens.

"They have extreme delays and still a lot of unanswered questions, problems which are not solved and as it looks [now] not solved within the next year.

"So we all have serious doubts.

"It will work out but right now it doesn't look too good."

South Korean President Park Geun-hye has insisted the 2018 Olympic Games will take place solely in South Korea, despite pressure to move the sliding events to Japan ©Getty ImagesSouth Korean President Park Geun-hye has insisted the 2018 Olympic Games will take place solely in South Korea, despite pressure to move the sliding events to Japan ©Getty Images

But, in response to Kasper's comments, Pyeongchang 2018 have reiterated their stance on the matter in a statement.

"[Pyeongchang 2018] is continuing with preparations for the scheduled test events beginning in 2016 as planned, in close cooperation with the central government and Gangwon province," the statement read.

"Both have committed their full support to ensure all venues will be ready on time.

"[Pyeonghcang 2018] is working to meet the expected requirements set by the international federations, and will send the International Ski Federation a detailed action plan for test events [in Jeongseon Alpine and Bokwang Snow Park] and Games operations by the end of February."

Several questions have been raised concerning Pyeongchang's hosting of the 2018 Winter Games, with North Korea touted as a potential co-host following delays in the preparations of some venues as well as reported budget problems.

The Japanese region of Nagano was also mentioned as a possible staging ground for the sliding events, although these claims have been constantly refuted by South Korean President Park Geun-hye.

In January, an IOC Project Review warned venue deadlines "remained tight" ahead of the Games, which are due to start on February 9 and run through until February 25.

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