Int'l Olympic Committee Tightens Control Over Rio 2016 Games Preparations
IOC President Thomas Bach said that the organization announced a series of measures including a stronger presence in Rio de Janeiro "to monitor progress and speed up lagging preparations for the 2016 Olympics," according to Karolos Grohmann of REUTERS. Bach said, "We had the meeting (on Thursday) in a very constructive atmosphere with our partners from Rio. We then took some decisions about ... how we can accelerate one way or another the works in Rio and how we can work even closer with the organizing committee and the different levels of government." Among the measures agreed "are the setting up of a decision-making body involving the government, the IOC and organizers so decisions are taken faster," and sending IOC Olympic Games Exec Dir Gilbert Felli to Rio sooner than initially planned. The frequency of assessment visits "will also be increased, and the IOC will also hire local project managers for the day-to-day execution of the plans and send specialized task forces consisting of experts to look into specific issues" (REUTERS, 4/10). REUTERS' Andrew Downie wrote organizers have acknowledged that "there are issues to be resolved." Rio 2016 said in a statement, "We are fully aware of the issues that need to be resolved. We are grateful for the input from all stakeholders." Although Rio won the right to host the event in '09, "construction work at venues where eight events will take place has yet to start and the pace of progress at others is slow" (REUTERS, 4/10).