CNN Revisits Nemtsov Report Claiming Corruption Surrounding Sochi Olympics
The Sochi Olympics "will be the most expensive in the history of the Olympics," according to Robertson & Masters of CNN. The $50B price tag is still "rising." But just what has it "been spent on?" Former Deputy PM Boris Nemtsov, a "fierce critic" of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has questioned where $20-30B has gone in a report titled "Winter Olympics in the Sub-Tropics: Corruption and Abuse in Sochi." The report also said the absence of "honest competition, cronyism and censorship" have led to "an increase in cost and decrease in the quality of work in preparing for the Games." In '07, Putin advised the IOC that his country would spend $12B on the Games. Nemtsov said, "This is not about sport, this is about triumphing in politics. This is about the strength of power of the Russian president in the world and inside Russia." Sochi Olympic Organizing Committee President Dmitry Chernyshenko, however, "remains unruffled by the report's claims." He insists that "all venues and arenas will be ready" for the Opening Ceremony and the arrival of 6,000 athletes. According to the report, the exorbitant rise from $12B to $50B can only be explained by "banal thievery, corruption and complete lack of professionalism of the contractors" (CNN, 1/20).