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IOC insures Athens Games

April 28, 2004 11:35 IST

The International Olympic Committee says it has taken out a $170 million (95 million pound) insurance policy to cover total or partial cancellation of the Athens Games in the event of a disaster.

The policy will pay out if a natural disaster or terror attack causes the Games to be called off in advance or while they are underway, a committee (IOC) spokeswoman said.

The deal has nothing to do with growing anxiety about whether the Athens venues will be ready or not, she said on Tuesday.

"We are totally confident the Athens Games will go ahead successfully. This is a policy decision for the IOC looking into the long term to protect our core business," said spokeswoman Giselle Davies.

The policy excludes any full or partial cancellation of the Athens Games due to a failure to complete preparation of any of the venues in time, a person familiar with the deal said.

The deal is part of IOC President Jacques Rogge's initiative to protect the Olympic movement's finances, which could be badly hit if the Games were wrecked, Davies said.

The policy would ensure that the IOC, International Federations and National Olympic Committees could survive financially until the next Games take place, Davies said.

Other similar policies will be bought to protect against the cancellation of the next Games in Turin in 2006, Beijing in 2008 and Vancouver in 2010, the IOC said.

The deal provides no compensation for the Athens organisers or the Games' commercial sponsors or TV firms that have bought rights for covering the event. They have either bought their own policies or will take the risk themselves.

Insurance coverage worth a total of $2 billion is likely to bought by companies involved in the Athens Games, an insurance source estimated.

Athens 2004: The Complete Coverage

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