Former Russian Deputy PM Claims Widespread Corruption At Sochi Winter Olympics
Russian officials and businessmen "have stolen billions of dollars during the years of preparations" for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, according to Nataliya Vasilyeva of the AP. Former Russian Deputy Prime Minister-turned-Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov and an associate said in a report released Thursday that up to $30B "was stolen in the run-up" to the Games. Russia had originally announced in '07 that the 2014 Games would cost about $12B. Within six years, that estimate went up to $51B, making Sochi "the most expensive Olympics in history." Nemtsov arrived at the figure of $30B by "comparing the initial cost estimate" of the games with the final $51B price tag and with typical cost overruns at previous Olympics. He also "compared the per-seat cost of Sochi's Olympic stadium with stadiums at previous games." Nemtsov said, "We account this irregularity for corruption, fraud, sloppiness and unprofessionalism" (AP, 5/30).