After Sochi, Int'l Olympic Committee Turns Attention To Rio De Janeiro
IOC leaders are gathering in Turkey this week "amid growing alarm over Brazil's troubled preparations" for the 2016 Rio Olympics, according to Stephen Wilson of the AP. As the exec board meets in the Mediterranean resort of Belek to review a wide range of issues -- "none more urgent than the chronic construction delays that are putting some of Rio's venue plans at risk." IOC President Thomas Bach has said repeatedly that Rio "doesn't have a day to lose" to get ready for South America's first Olympics, "mindful of the continuing delays" for this year's World Cup in Brazil. Olympic officials said that the situation "bears similarities" to the 2004 Athens Olympics, whose delays became so critical that then-IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch "reprimanded organizers with a 'yellow card.'" The IOC "has so far stopped short of issuing a similar warning for Rio, but the pressure is building." The timelines "are so tight that some sports federations are worried that their venues are in danger of not being completed." IOC leaders "are particularly worried" that work has yet to begin on the Deodoro complex, an area in northern Rio which is supposed to house the second largest cluster of Olympic venues. Many of the delays "are rooted in disputes among Brazil's three levels of government, including who pays for what" (AP, 4/7).
SHOTS FIRED: The AP reported striking construction workers and security personnel "clashed Monday at Rio de Janeiro's Olympic Park." Rio Mais, the consortium building the Olympic venues, "confirmed that random gunshots were fired as workers and security confronted each other." There were "no reports of injuries at the venue cluster," which is located 25km west of central Rio (AP, 4/7).