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Sydney Olympics Tickets Released

September 7, 1999

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) _ Sydney Olympic organizers were warned repeatedly not to release track and field tickets but they did so to help balance their finances, a spokesman for the International Amateur Athletics Federation said Wednesday.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that IAAF official Georgio Ranieri said it was made clear to the Sydney Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games ``many times″ _ and again just before the ticket release _ that it needed the IAAF’s authorization for the schedule.

Last week, SOCOG officials said there could be revisions to the track and field schedule for next year’s Games because of changes demanded by the IAAF, most due to rest days needed between semifinals and finals in many events.

But Ranieri said SOCOG knew the IAAF had to appoint another technical delegate _ to replace Charles Mukora, an IOC member who resigned after the Salt Lake City scandal _ and that would delay the final signing.

``We acted correctly and said to SOCOG that you cannot prepare the schedule and release the tickets without our authorization,″ Ranieri said.

``From our point of view, their priority was for the money and cash before agreeing to the schedule.″

Dr. Jacques Rogge, the IOC coordination commission chairman, confirmed the IAAF sent letters to SOCOG warning it that approval was still to be given.

However, he said SOCOG was not to blame because it followed proper procedures.

``SOCOG did their best, it is just regrettable that the IAAF did not respond by the due times,″ Rogge said.

SOCOG says approval had been received twice from the IOC to release the schedule and tickets without any conditions about IAAF authorization.

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