IOC tightens control over Rio 2016 preparations

Thu Apr 10, 2014 7:38pm EDT
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By Karolos Grohmann

(Reuters) - The International Olympic Committee has 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, president Thomas Bach said on Wednesday.

Preparations for the 2016 Games, the first on the South American continent, have been plagued by delays, rising costs and bad communication between different levels of the Brazilian government and organizers.

International federations this week also criticized the government for what they said were constant delays and problems in communicating efficiently with the Games organizing committee.

"We had the meeting (on Thursday) in a very constructive atmosphere with our partners from Rio," Bach told a news conference in Turkey at the end of a two-day executive board meeting.

"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 were the setting up of a decision-making body involving the government, IOC and organizers so decisions are taken faster, and sending the IOC's Olympic Games executive director Gilbert Felli to Rio sooner than initially planned.

The frequency of assessment visits will also be increased, and the IOC will 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. These will be appointed in the coming weeks, Bach said.


Construction workers on strike stand outside the Rio 2016 Olympic Park construction site in Rio de Janeiro April 8, 2014. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes