Faster, Athens

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It was slap-wrist time again for Athens when the I.O.C. met in Salt Lake City. From the moment that Greece was awarded the 2004 Games in 1997 the I.O.C. has been anxiously watching the country's progress, or rather the lack of it. In April 2000 Juan Antonio Samaranch, then president of the I.O.C., warned that unless Athens got serious about preparations the Games might go elsewhere. Though building has now started on venues, it is going too slowly for Jacques Rogge. Last week Rogge, who was chairman of the Coordination Commission for the 2004 Games until his election as I.O.C. president, publicly admonished the Athens organizers, saying, "There are ... causes for concern regarding the completion of certain sports' infrastructures by the given deadlines." Another worry is the lack of action in building new hotels and increasing the capacity of existing ones. Maybe potential visitors should think about taking a tent.