Rio Olympic Preparations 'Worst I Have Experienced': IOC President

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Tuesday, 29 Apr 2014 03:24 PM

By Michael Mullins

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Preparations for the 2016 Rio Olympic games are behind schedule, according to the International Olympic Committee.

On Tuesday, IOC Vice President John Coates released a statement prior to a news conference in Sydney, Australia, in which he said the preparations for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games were "the worst I have experienced."

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"The situation is critical on the ground," Coates said, Bloomberg News reported. "We have become very concerned. They are not ready in many, many ways. We have to make it happen and that is the IOC’s approach. You can’t walk away from this."

In response to Coates' "worst ever" description of the Olympic Games preparation, the Rio organizing committee said the city will be ready to host the games, which they insisted will be "excellent Games that will be delivered absolutely within the agreed timelines and budget," CNN reported.

Additionally, Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes said there was "no reason for concern" and that the "Olympic Park has nothing delayed," CNN noted.

Earlier this month, Rio organizers announced that the city intended on spending nearly $11 billion on infrastructure projects for the upcoming games. In its original bid for the games, it had reportedly estimated the games would cost about $15 billion, Bloomberg noted.

Despite the organizing committee's assurances, the IOC said it has taken steps to ensure the games are ready for primetime in two years with a more hands-on approach.

"The IOC has formed a special task force to try and speed up preparations but the situation is critical on the ground. The IOC has adopted a more hands-on role, it is unprecedented for the IOC but there is no plan B. We are going to Rio," Coates said at an Olympic Forum in Sydney on Tuesday, USA Today reported. "We have to make it happen and that is the IOC approach, you can't walk away from this."

In addition to Olympic prep concerns, Brazil is also reportedly struggling with 2014 World Cup preparations in Sao Paulo, Brazil, with the soccer tournament being only two months away from the opener.

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