Sochi 2014 chief promises all venues will be ready

Updated: Dec 18, 2009, 09:37 AM IST

Moscow: Sochi 2014 chief Dmitry Chernyshenko has dismissed any concerns about the city`s ability to host the Winter Olympics and promised that all the venues will be built on time.

A senior Moscow regional official had suggested that his area could host the 2014 Olympic bobsleigh and luge events if Sochi could not build its track on time.

"If the situation with Sochi becomes difficult we can help," the head of the Dmitrov region, Valery Gavrilov, told reporters last weekend at the site of Russia`s first bobsleigh and luge track in the village of Paramonovo, just north of Moscow.

Chernyshenko dismissed Gavrilov`s suggestion, saying: "I`m sure Paramonovo will host many wonderful international competitions but the 2014 Olympic bobsleigh and luge events will be held in Sochi.

"I guarantee that all Olympic venues will be built on time," he told reporters.

Sochi needs to build most of the venues and infrastructure from scratch and, despite Chernyshenko`s assurances, the construction of the bobsleigh and luge track has given local organisers a headache.

In July, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin ordered organisers to move the track to a new location after the original site was criticised by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as "environmentally unfriendly".

Putin said the move had been agreed with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

This week, a powerful winter storm swept through Sochi, causing major damage to the Black Sea port and creating havoc at some of the Olympic venues.

Bureau Report