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OLYMPIC NOTEBOOK

Security Budget for Costliest Games Ever Rises Again, Hits About $1.5 Billion

Thursday, July 22, 2004; Page D02

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.


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


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