Vice President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) John Coates says Brazil’s preparations for the 2016 Rio Games is “the worst” he has ever “experienced”.
Coates, also president of the Australian Olympic Committee, has visited Rio de Janeiro six times and says the country’s preparations were “worst than Athens”- hosts of the 2004 Games.
He told an Olympic Forum in Sydney that construction on some venues had yet to begin, infrastructure is delayed and water quality is a major concern.
According to the IOC chief, the body has taken “unprecedented” step by embedding experts into the Local Organising Committee (LOC) to ensure the Games go ahead as planned
“The IOC has formed a special task force to try and speed up preparations but the situation is critical on the ground,” Coates said.
“The IOC has adopted more hands on role, it is unprecedented for the IOC but there is no plan B. We are going to Rio.”
These revelations come amidst fears on the level of preparedness of the South American nation for the 2014 Fifa World Cup, with 44 days to go.
Preparations for the 2004 Athens Games were marred by delay in construction and services, but venues and infrastructures were delivered in time.
Coates, who has been involved in the Olympics for nearly 40 years added that one of the experts included among the taskforce of personnel the IOC has sent to Brazil is a construction project manager.
“We have become very concerned, they are not ready in many, many ways. We have to make it happen and that is the IOC approach, you can’t walk away from this.
“The city also has social issues that need to be addressed,” Coates added, refering to one of Brazil’s criminal havens.