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One year to 2012 Olympics in London
“Obviously there are things to do in the remaining year, but if we compare with previous games, we are well advanced and this is a very comfortable position to be in,” Denis Oswald, the IOC executive board member who heads the coordination commission for London, said in an interview.
The London Games also will have the most rigorous anti-doping program in history.
Rogge said more than 5,500 drug tests will be conducted, in and out of competition, with many carried out ahead of the games to weed out any cheats before they get to London. Samples will be frozen for eight years. Intelligence and law-enforcement agencies will help bust any doping networks.
“We are making steady progress,” Rogge said.
In addition, the IOC will continue to monitor betting patterns to crack down on any gambling or match-fixing schemes, which Roggecalls as serious a threat to the games as doping.
In the six years since Britain was awarded the games, the most dramatic change has been the development of the Olympic Park in east London, a 560-acre former industrial wasteland that is the centerpiece of a massive regeneration project. The urban park should stand as the main legacy of the games.
“I’ve seen so many things that have happened, so much transformation, so many things that have changed,” Coe said. “I don’t believe that east London would have changed in that way in my lifetime.”
Security and transportation remain the biggest challenges.
The British government has been planning for the national terror threat to be classified as “severe” during the Olympics, meaning an attempted attack is highly likely. A day after London was awarded the games in 2005, homegrown suicide bombers attacked London’s transportation network, killing 52 people.
“London was awakened to the security issues long before the games were awarded — the issue of Northern Ireland and so forth,”Rogge said. “This is a country where security forces are very well trained and well prepared.”
Rogge and British Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson said U.K. security officials will have taken into account the type of attacks that shook Norway, where a man set off a car bomb in Oslo on Friday and opened fire at a youth camp, killing at least 76 people.
“It’s not just the physical security of the athlete in the Olympic village,” Rogge said. “It’s not just sweeping a bus with mirrors under the floor. There’s also the surveillance on the Internet, and the collaboration between different agencies of different countries. There is a lot of intelligence going on.”
Billions of dollars have been invested in upgrading the city’s public transportation network ahead of the games. But the system is already stretched, underground strikes are not ruled out and London’s roads are often clogged with traffic at the best of times.
A new survey, commissioned by the BBC and carried out by the Ipsos Mori polling group, found that while 73 percent of Londoners support the Olympics, 52 percent feel the transport system won’t be able to cope.
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By Andrew P. Napolitano
Obama's veil of secrecy is pierced
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