Velodrome ready this month, Zika 'no threat'

Thu Jun 2, 2016 2:15pm EDT
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By Karolos Grohmann

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuters) - The Olympic velodrome will be ready for athletes to train there this month, organizers said on Thursday, with the most delayed project of the Games still to be completed two months before the start.

Games chief Carlos Nuzman played down any impact from the political crisis in Brazil, with the impeachment of suspended President Dilma Rousseff and her trial scheduled to run during the Olympics.

He also said the mosquito-borne Zika virus, linked to birth defects, would not be a threat.

Rio de Janeiro's city government said earlier this week it had canceled its contract with the company constructing the velodrome after the firm filed for bankruptcy protection.

"That is one of the points we explained to the IOC," Nuzman told reporters after the organizers made their final progress report to the International Olympic Committee's Executive Board.

"The Rio mayor was there (via video link) to provide these answers. At the end of June it will be in condition for athletes to train there...the mayor gave these guarantees because he is in charge of the construction."

The indoor cycling test event scheduled for the end of April was canceled in March because it was not ready but the IOC now says it will be staged on June 25-26.

The construction of the venue has now been handed over to Engetecnica, a Brazilian company that has been working on the project as a sub-contractor since February.   Continued...

An aerial view of the Rio 2016 Olympic Velodrome venue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes