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IOC panel visiting Sochi final time before games

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September 24, 2013 10:45 AM EST | AP


SOCHI, Russia — SOCHI, Russia (AP) — With the opening ceremony just over four months away, IOC inspectors are making their final visit to Sochi to check on preparations for the Winter Olympics.

The IOC coordination commission began its 10th and last visit Tuesday to the Black Sea resort — 136 days until the opening of the Feb. 7-23 games.

The visit also comes five days before the lighting of the Olympic flame in Ancient Olympia, Greece.

The International Olympic Committee says the panel "will be checking to make sure that Sochi 2014 is on track to deliver the finishing touches that will be necessary to ensure that the world's finest winter athletes are able to compete in the best conditions possible."

The panel, led by Jean-Claude Killy, will be in Sochi for three days to visit Olympic venues and meet with local organizers.

Sochi's preparations have been overshadowed by Western criticism of a new Russian law banning "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations among minors."