Stetka: Cash concerns a 'non-issue'
BALTIMORE -- The Greek Olympic baseball team has sufficient financial backing to go to Greece after working out next month in the United States, an official of the Baltimore Orioles said Saturday.
On Friday, the president of the Greek Baseball Federation declared that the team is so short of cash that it has no funds to return for the games.
"At this moment we do not have money to pay for the tickets for our team to come to participate in the Olympic Games," Panos Mitsiopoulos told The Associated Press.
That is not the case, according to Orioles spokesman Bill Stetka.
"We were surprised to hear that," Stetka said. "It's a non-issue. The flights have been arranged, and the cost already covered, through a cooperative effort by the Orioles, major league baseball, the Greek Federation and the family of Peter Angelos."
Peter Angelos, a Greek-American who owns the Orioles, helped organize the Greek Olympic team.
Stetka said the team will begin practicing in the Baltimore area on Aug. 2 and will stay through the Aug. 4 before heading home to Greece.
Mitsiopoulos claims the federation only received about a third of the promised $372,000 for Olympics preparations. He added that other Greek sports federations are also short on funds.
"This is happening with all the teams. All the federations are complaining," Mitsiopoulos said.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press