SALT LAKE CITY – The anthrax scare will change procedures for mail delivery at the Olympic Village, where many of the 2,600 athletes will stay for the Winter Games.
Francois Carrard, director general of the International Olympic Committee, said Monday that the use of the mail to deliver bioagents has been ``factored in'' the security plan.
Salt Lake Organizing Committee President Mitt Romney said special arrangements are being made for games-time mail delivery. ``I don't want to describe exactly what is planned,'' he said.
The IOC's coordination commission is in Salt Lake this week receiving confidential briefings on every aspect of the Feb. 8-24 games, from security to how many towels will be available at the Olympic Village.
``There is absolutely no plan for the IOC to cancel the Salt Lake Games,'' said Carrard, trying to counter doubts stemming from the September terror attacks.
``These games are a message, the response of the world, an answer to violence,'' he said.
The full IOC membership likely will attend the Salt Lake games, including delegates from Islamic nations. ``We have no sign of any possible defection,'' he said.
Norwegian IOC member Gerhard Heiberg also attended the news briefing to clarify remarks he gave to a Norwegian newspaper that seemed to raise doubts about safety in Salt Lake. Heiberg his remarks reflected anxiety among some athletes and were made in the absence of information about the security arrangements.
Now familiar with the plans, ``I must say I'm very impressed,'' Heiberg said. ``I will go back and assure my countrymen and athletes that this will be a safe place.''
Heiberg, who organized the 1994 Lillehammer Games, is no stranger to security threats. Those games received threats from Islamic and anti-abortion extremists, but ``nothing happened,'' he said.
``People have got to be convinced we're doing everything possible'' to safeguard the games, said Jim Easton, one of the IOC's U.S. delegates.