Rio Olympics CEO Says Games A Chance To Prove Country Can Be Corruption-Free
Rio 2016 Olympic Organizing Committee CEO Sidney Levy said that the projected 30B reais ($12.5B) Games "are a chance to show that the country can run a major project without scandal," according to Tariq Panja of BLOOMBERG. Levy took over Rio’s organizing committee in January '13, and said that preparation for the event "can rebuild trust" between the country and its business elites by proving things can be done “without corruption.” Levy: “The time has come for the Brazilian people to understand and to believe that there are people in Brazil skilled enough to raise and spend 7 billion reais in a transparent way. They think it’s all mixed up with friends of him, friends of so-and-so. The money behind the table, these guys are all going to be rich at the end. They really think that. So we’re here to prove the opposite.” Forbes in November estimated the cost of corruption in Brazil in '13 could be as high as $53B, and President Dilma Rousseff "has fired several ministers over allegations of graft." Levy said the public sentiment "is understandable." Levy: "In so many areas Brazil has gone first world. So we cannot tolerate that in so many other areas Brazil is still third world. We cannot agree with that. We have to go against that" (BLOOMBERG, 1/26).