GEORGIA was today reprimanded by Ireland's Pat Hickey (pictured), the president of the European Olympic Committees (EOC), for trying to mix politics with sport by having the 2014 Winter Games removed from Sochi.
The Georgian Olympic Committee (GOC) raised the issue after a presentation by Sochi chief executive chief Dmitry Chernyshenko to the general assembly of European Olympic Committees in Istanbul today.
The Georgian delegation said Sochi, a Black Sea resort, was in the middle of a "very dangerous" region and questioned whether Olympic athletes and spectators would be safe.
Earlier this week the GOC had written to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) over the same issue, asking them to hold the Games somewhere else.
The IOC had rejected the request.
Hickey said: "We have great respect for your country, but this is an organisation for sport and not for politics.
"We cannot discuss these issues.
"You've had your say.
"The IOC is very satisfied with the guarantees given by the Russian NOC [National Olympic Committee), the organising committee and the Russian Government."
Russia and Georgia fought a war in August that started on the eve of the opening ceremony of the Olympics in Beijing.
More than 160,000 people fled fighting that broke out August 7 when Georgian forces launched an attack to regain control of South Ossetia.
Russian forces repelled the attack, drove deep into Georgia, and stayed there for several weeks.
Russia still has thousands of troops in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and has recognised both as independent nations.
Chernyshenko said that despite the economic downturn, the project remains "firmly on track and within budget."
He said: "Almost 100 percent of the land for sports venue - both in the coastal and mountain clusters - has been allocated.
"All construction projects will be underway by next summer, in order to host the first test events on schedule in 2012."
Chernyshenko noted that the Sochi preparations are "under the personal direction" of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
He said: "Sochi 2014 is really project number one in the country.
"All investment costs for development are underwritten by the Russian Government.
"Russia is a financially powerful country.
"There is no risk of underfinancing of the project."