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Olympic chief praises Sochi preparations

The President of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge, has praised Russia's efforts towards organising the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. During a meeting with the Russian President he said he was in no doubt the games will be organised to t

“I did not have the opportunity in Guatemala city to congratulate you personally because you were already flying out, so I did so by telephone. So these are the official congratulations for Sochi's great victory. You can count absolutely on the total support of the International Olympic Committee in the successful staging of these Games,” Jacque Rogge told Vladimir Putin.

Mr Putin said final decisions have now been made over who's now responsible for what.

At the meeting with the delegation of the International Olympic Committee the Russian President spoke about the decisions made today, which were mainly legislative and administrative. Mr Putin gave his assurances to the IOC.

“We have made a final decision concerning the structure of all bodies preparing for the 2014 Winter Olympics. We are reorganising the Presidential Council for Sport into the Council for Sport and Preparation for the 2014 Games. Its presidium will be headed by the Prime Minister. The Council will include Russian and foreign environmental experts,” said the Russian leader.

One of the two laws that have to be considered by the Russian State Duma concerns the creation of a state co-operative body which is to be headed by the CEO of Russian company “Transneft”, Semyon Vainshtok. The body is due take charge of organising and overseeing all of the construction work on the Olympic venues and of other changes to be made to the infrastructure.

The other law concerns land reforms and has already caused some controversy in Sochi. The government wants to buy land from people in order to complete the construction of Olympic venues and to make any necessary changes to the infrastructure of Sochi and to the mountain resort of Krasnaya Polyana in exchange for financial compensation or another place to live. This has caused some concern but the President has underlined that the interests of the residents will always be paramount when deciding on the changes to be made while preparing for the Olympic Games.