ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- While Olympic organizers have made up for lost time, deadlines now are so thin that any delay could hurt preparations for the 2004 Games.
Mixing praise with numerous warnings, Jacques Rogge, the head of an international review team, said Friday that constant work was needed if Athens wants to host a successful Olympics.
"I would hate if I would leave Athens and leave you relaxed," Rogge said at a news conference. "I want you to be scared until the last day of the Olympic Games, until the closing ceremony."
Rogge and about 40 experts from the International Olympic Committee completed a three-day appraisal of Athens' troubled preparations, which have been plagued by chronic delays since the city was awarded the games in 1997.
Rogge called Athens' plans and deadlines "realistic," but he appealed for a "sense of urgency at all levels."
"You can't relax because the deadlines are very tight, you can not allow a day of delay," he said.
But the IOC is committed to holding the games in Athens and has no contingency plans to move them, he added.
During Rogge's visit, the government bowed to pressure and moved up deadlines to January 2004 for five key sports sites. It originally had said the venues would be ready by May 2004, only three months before the start of the games.
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