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Olympics 2008: Turkish Olympic chief blasts IOC report

The numbers do not add up, he says, no-one has looked seriously at the city on the Bosphorus.
“Everybody knows Paris but not Istanbul,” Yalcin Aksoy, general director of the Istanbul Olympic Committee says.
“To make a real judgement, the IOC (International Olympic Committee) should come and visit the city itself, feel the city, live the city and see if it’s suitable for the Olympics instead of sending an inspection team,” he said.
“All the IOC members can rely on is a report prepared by 17 experts.”
For the first time in an Olympic bidding contest individual IOC members were barred from visiting the prospective host cities.
Instead, in a bid to clean up the movement’s image after the Salt Lake City bribery scandal, the IOC sent an evaluation team to each of the five venues.
The chances of Istanbul beating Beijing, Toronto, Paris and Osaka diminished significantly after a report by the IOC team in mid-May expressed “uncertainties regarding the overall status and projections of Games finance”.
Those who want to see Istanbul win the July 13 vote by the IOC disagree with the team’s findings.
“The report says $10 billion needs to be invested in transport, which under present crisis conditions carries risks.
“Where they get that figure from I don’t know as ongoing projects are worth $8 billion and the municipality has the necessary funds for it,” Aksoy said.
Aksoy says Istanbul will bid again if it fails in 2008 after unsuccessful bids for the 2000 and 2004 Olympics.
“They think the crisis will last seven years,” he said. “But of course we’ll try again.”