Warsaw's ambitions for 2016

Warsaw is ready to campaign for the 2016 Summer Olympics - more than seven years before the International Olympic Committee starts considering official bids.

Warsaw is ready to campaign for the 2016 Summer Olympics - more than seven years before the International Olympic Committee starts considering official bids.

The secretary-general of the Polish Olympic Committee, Janusz Tatera, said yesterday: "We want to promote Poland and sports competition. One of Warsaw's strategic long-term goals is to host the summer Olympics."

Tatera said the Olympic Committee has learned its lesson from a failed bid to host the 2006 Winter Games at the mountain resort of Zakopane. "It is essential to start early," he said.

A massive building programme would be needed to prepare the city's sports facilities. Warsaw's largest athletics stadium, built for the 10th anniversary of communist rule in Poland in the 1950s, is now an open-air market place for anything from clothes to Soviet Union memorabilia. The next Olympics will be held at Sydney in 2000 and Athens in 2004. The IOC will not award the 2008 Games for two years and will not take nominations for the 2016 event until 2007.

Meanwhile, Sydney is embroiled in a ticketing fiasco which is set to cost the organisers Aus$12m. The Prime Minister, John Howard, has announced that tickets sold at inflated prices under SOCOG's controversial premium package deal would be not be exempt from a new Goods and Services Tax.

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