The security budget for the Athens Games, the costliest in Olympic history, has increased by another 25 percent to about $1.5 billion.
Greek officials previously put the cost of safeguarding the Aug. 13-29 games at $1.2 billion, or three times more than Sydney spent in 2000.
_____ Countdown to Athens _____ • The Olympics are less than a week away and organizers are pulling the pieces together for the Aug. 13 opening.
_____ From The Post _____ • Dana Vollmer will be one of those tales of courage that come up during the Olympics.
• Michael Wilbon: In Athens, the new can't hold a torch to the ancient.
• Lauryn Williams is far more interested in chasing goals she can see rather than those she can imagine.
• Notebook: Jerome Young reportedly tested positive for the banned drug EPO at a meet last month.
_____ Live Online _____ • Tony Azevedo, the top scorer on the U.S. Men's Water Polo team, took questions July 28.
• Alexander Kitroeff discussed his book, "Wrestling with the Ancients: Modern Greek Identity and the Olympics," and the history of the Games on July 27.
_____ On Our Site _____ • Photos: Swimming trials.
• Photos: Track and field trials.
_____ Swimming's Wonder Boy _____ • Phelps's main training partners and buddies reflect on blown chances. (July 27)
• Coach Bob Bowman has been the guiding force for Phelps. (July 4)
• Gallery: Coach shows the way to Athens.
• Numerous endorsements already have made Phelps a millionaire. (June 1)
• Gallery: The road to the Games are paved with gold.
• Phelps expected to be the Games' most-decorated athlete. (April 18)
• Gallery: Phelps making a splash.
Deputy Finance Minister Petros Doukas yesterday put the security costs at about $1.5 billion, attributing the rise to increasing security demands by foreign governments. He did not give specifics.
Much of that cost has been for high technical surveillance equipment, new weaponry -- including coastal patrol boats -- and a $312 million contract for a security network.
C. Ronaldo Will Lead Portugal
Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo will lead Portugal in the Olympic soccer tournament, along with three other players who helped the Portuguese reach the European Championship final earlier this month.
The deadline to submit rosters to FIFA headquarters for both the men's and women's tournaments is today.
The Olympic tournament is for under-23 teams, but each team is allowed three exceptions. Some senior national team players fit the age requirement, meaning several teams will feature more than three national team players.
The United States failed to qualify for the Athens Games after losing to Mexico in a regional qualifying match in February.
Portugal, which lost to Greece 1-0 in the Euro 2004 final, and Italy will be two of the favorites in Athens.
Dressage Team Is Set
The U.S. dressage team for the equestrian competition has been finalized. The four-member team will include Debbie McDonald, 49, of Idaho, aboard Brentina; Robert Dover, 48, of Florida (FBW Kennedy); and Californians Guenter Seidel (Aragon) and Lisa Wilcox (Relevant).
The team already is in Europe, where the U.S. won the bronze medal in the Nations Cup competition in Germany. The show jumping team also is in Europe.
-- From News Services