On Friday 13 February, the 5th Paralympic Games Liaison Committee meeting concluded after two days of meetings in Athens, between the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the ATHENS 2004 Organising Committee.
After last week's tour of several venues, the IPC is convinced that the venues will be accessible to all athletes coming from a record number of 146 National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) to participate in the ATHENS 2004 Paralympics.
During the days of working sessions, ATHENS 2004 briefed the IPC on the status of preparations for the approaching Paralympic Games in several areas, including budget, media/press operations, NPC services, image & identity/look of the city, venue operations & planning, sport, medical/doping, food services, Adopt a Sport programme and technology.
Much progress was seen in the area of transport: a well worked out plan was put forward with 300 accessible busses to be used during the Paralympics for athletes, team officials, media and the Paralympic Family.
Furthermore, the IPC congratulates ATHENS 2004 on their concept for the Torch Relay, which was presented to the Games Liaison members during the meeting. It was also announced that the same level of security is planned during the Paralympics and the Olympics. Said François Terranova, Chairperson of the IPC Games Liaison Committee:
"We have approximately 200 days to go to the beginning of the Paralympics and we have seen a lot of progress in several areas. We expect ATHENS 2004 to keep up the good work so that operational plans are carried out on time."
A total of 670 doping tests will be executed prior and during competitions using the same equipment, laboratory and standards as the Olympics. The IPC signed the World Anti-Doping Code in March 2003 and has since then revised the IPC Anti-Doping Code to comply with the World Anti-Doping Agency's standards and code.