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SBD Global/September 10, 2013/Olympics

Senior IOC Members Warn 2016 Rio Olympics Organizers Of Stalled Preparations

Senior Olympic members have warned the 2016 Rio de Janiero Olympics organizers their Games "are so under-prepared the situation is now 'critical,'" according to Jacquelin Magnay of THE AUSTRALIAN. In a departure from the usual diplomatic language used within the Olympic movement, three senior IOC members, including Australian Kevan Gosper, on Monday night "issued a withering assessment of progress, panned the lack of planning and warned of disastrous results if there was not an accelerated program of works in the Brazilian city." The IOC member in charge of Rio, Nawal El Moutawakel, "publicly listed three urgent priorities for the organisers, which are such basic structural concepts members are questioning whether Rio has the capability to host" the Games at all. El Moutawakel said that "the venue masterplan still had to be finalised, a timetable of construction had to be signed off and a matrix of responsibility had to be developed." She said, "We have agreed that Rio has these three urgent priorities" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 9/10).

DEMONSRATORS STILL A WORRY: The BBC's David Bond reported German Olympic Committee President and IOC presidential candidate Thomas Bach said that the 2016 Rio Games "could be targeted by mass demonstrations" unless the IOC "starts explaining the benefits of the Games to the Brazilian public." The 59-year-old German lawyer and former fencing Gold Medalist "is favourite in a six-way contest to replace Jacques Rogge as president of the IOC." If elected, Bach said that his first priority "will be to ensure the smooth delivery of the Sochi 2014 Winter Games, which have been subject to delays, budget overruns and concerns over the warm weather" (BBC, 9/9).
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