Despite concerns raised by environmentalists, the International Olympic Committee backed organizers of the Athens 2004 games this weekend and said that venues proposed for water sports would not harm rare wetlands. The IOC environmental commission held three days of meetings in Athens during which enviros claimed that a development planned for the rowing and canoeing sites would threaten the wetlands. But the commission members gave the plan the go-ahead, warning only that the Athens organizers should make sure that a mechanism existed to protect the wetlands area after the games were over. Overall, the members said they were impressed by the environmental measures taken so far by the organizers.