MOSCOW -- Environmentalists lost a bid Wednesday to block
construction of sports facilities in Sochi if the Black Sea resort
gets the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Russia's supreme court rejected Greenpeace's contention that
Olympic-related projects would cause major ecological harm to the
Sochi's infrastructure and sports facilities are less developed
than the other two finalists for the games -- Salzburg, Austria, and
Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Russia plans to develop the Sochi region whether or not it wins
Government representatives argued in court that studies showed
construction would not pose a threat to the region's environment.
The Sochi bid committee says it is has made environmental
protection one of the cornerstones of its plans.
Greenpeace lawyer Mikhail Kreindlin said his organization plans
to appeal, but added, "Honestly speaking, I don't think we have a
big chance of success."
The International Olympic Committee will pick the winning city
on July 4.