Olympic organisers predict violence free games

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The International Olympic Committee has played down the possibility of violent protests by Aboriginal activists during the Sydney Games.

Aboriginal leaders recently threatened violent demonstrations following the leak of an Australian government report that minimised the harm caused by a policy of taking Aboriginal children from their families.

The controversy over what is known as the "stolen generation" was discussed as Sydney organisers briefed the IOC executive board on preparations for the Sept. 15-Oct. 1 games.

"We are not expecting violent demonstrations," said Australian IOC vice president Kevan Gosper. "There may be some (nonviolent) demonstrations. We hope not too many."

IOC leaders expressed confidence in Sydney organisers, who have been under fire in Australia following a series of ticketing and budget problems.

"We are pretty confident the organisation is really excellent," said IOC executive Jacques Rogge, who heads the committee's oversight panel for Sydney. "Overall, I'm confident that everything that humanly could have been done has been done."

With less than five months before the opening ceremony, Sydney still has to sell more than $120 million worth of tickets in Australia to meet its budget.

Knight said the next round of sales would begin in May.