THE issue over Hong Kong's official name in post-1997 sporting events was thrown into confusion with International Olympic Committee and China declaring conflicting stances. IOC president Juan Samaranch insisted that the territory would retain the name Hong Kong after the handover, while the Chinese Olympic Committee is equally determined that the territory's title should be either prefixed or suffixed by the world China. Samaranch, at his first press conference in Atlanta, on being asked to clarify Hong Kong's post-1997 future, said: 'The future of Hong Kong is very clear. Hong Kong will continue to take part as a separate Olympic body under the same name.' However, Wei Jizhong, secretary general of the Chinese Olympic Committee, said the territory should abide by the Basic Law and march under the name of either China Hong Kong or Hong Kong, China. He added that Samaranch did not have the authority to insist on Hong Kong's name. 'It doesn't matter what Mr Samaranch says because it is very clear in the Basic Law,' said Wei. 'We can't do anything about it because the Basic Law is what we should adhere to.' Wei said it was too early to say whether or not the territory's various sporting bodies will have to incorporate China into their official titles. 'Those small details can be worked out later.' Earlier this week, Hong Kong team official Ronnie Wong Man-chiu said the issue of the territory's name should be taken to Government levels. 'I think it should go to a higher level than the Olympic Committees,' said Wong. 'In our interpretation of the Basic Law, we should only change the name if there is a need to and we feel that it is not necessary.' Wong added that it applies not only to Hong Kong's sports bodies but other associations in the territory. He said that there were no plans by Hong Kong officials to hold talks with their Chinese counterparts in Atlanta. While the name remains a sticking point, there were no doubts about Hong Kong retaining their independent sporting status after the 1997 handover. Said Wei: 'According to the Basic Law, Hong Kong can continue to have their own sporting independence. There is no conflict about that.' Hong Kong's Olympic chief A. de O. Sales has, on many occasions, given assurances that the territory's sports future was safe. Prior to leaving Hong Kong for Atlanta, he hit out at the international media for pestering him about the political affects on Hong Kong sport with regard to the change of sovereignty, saying the IOC had guaranteed the territory independence.