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IOC Official Blasts Rio Olympic Preparations

Michael Gaio

Rio de Janeiro is set to host the 2016 Olympic Games, but according to the vice president of the International Olympic Committee, preparations for those games are severely off track.

John Coates, who has made six trips to Brazil as part of the IOC's coordination commission for Rio, says the delays he's seen are "the worst I have experienced." According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Coates went on to say the Brazilians are behind "in many, many ways," and are in worse shape than Greece was before the 2004 Olympics.

Despite the delays in Rio, there is no backup plan to host the games elsewhere. The IOC has responded by forming a special task force to try to speed up the preparations in Brazil.

This is just the latest example of Brazil taking heat for poor preparation for a major sporting event. The country is set to host the 2014 World Cup in June and has been criticized for delays in construction of new stadiums and other infrastructure and safety issues.

Coates says the outlook for the Olympics is equally bad.

"We have become very concerned. They are not ready in many, many ways," Coates said. "And this is against a city that's got social issues that also have to be addressed; a country that's also trying to deal with the FIFA World Cup coming up in a few months."

From the CBC article:

"I think this is a worse situation than Athens," Coates said. "In Athens, we were dealing with one government and some city responsibilities. Here, there's three.

"There is bureaucracy, there is little co-ordination between the federal, the state government and the city — which is responsible for a lot of the construction. The flow of funds from the federal government is not happening quickly enough. We think we need to help facilitate that."

Rio de Janeiro mayor, Eduardo Paes has responded saying the IOC's demands are unrealistic. Paes says the IOC is asking for too many things "large things," that won't be used by the city following the Olympics.

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