On the eve of the 1,000-day countdown to the London Olympics, the organisers have been given a glowing appraisal by Jacques Rogge, president of the IOC. Rogge applauded their "master plan" and said that he is "absolutely happy" with the development of the £9.3bn project, but added, with a Rumsfeldian slant, that they must also beware the unexpected.
Tomorrow Locog, the London organising committee, will mark the 1,000 days with events in London and at the sailing venue in Dorset buoyed by Rogge's backing. "With around 1,000 days to go we are absolutely happy with the preparations," said Rogge yesterday. "London are progressing according to their master plan, they stay within budget and it is a very strong team. But there is always a need to be vigilant until the very last day because unexpected things do happen.
"To give an example, no one could have foreseen what happened with the 9/11 tragedy in New York – you cannot plan for that, you cannot prepare for it, and it had a big impact in planning the security of Olympic Games. Organising the Games is always a very difficult and complicated task and there are definitely always issues that are not foreseen.
"But I think the preparation has been excellent and we are moving forward now from the construction phase to the management phase and the organisation of the Games. There needs to be a shift of attitude and that is the switch London are going to have to do. I remain confident it's going to be a success."
Rogge also backed Government plans to allow anti-doping officials the freedom to search competitors' rooms during the Games. "Athletes competing in the UK must submit to UK law," Rogge said. "We know doping will never disappear. We cannot be naive – doping is to sport as crime is to society, but we have made it far more difficult for the cheaters to cheat."