Government, Rio 2016 officials offer assurances

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 8, 2014 at 8:43 pm •  Published: April 8, 2014
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BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — Top officials of the 2016 Rio Olympics and the chief of staff for Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff met for two hours Tuesday and repeated assurances that, despite well-publicized delays, test events and the games themselves will meet proposed deadlines.

The meeting, which was described as "crucial" three weeks ago by inspectors from the International Olympic Committee, was postponed several times. IOC officials said it focused on funding and venue planning.

Officials at the meeting, including Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo, Rousseff's chief of ctaff Aloizio Mercadante and Carlos Nuzman, president of the organizing committee, left without speaking to reporters and gave no details about budgets or planning.

"The Brazilian government reiterates that deadlines will be met," the sports ministry said in a brief statement. "All the guarantees exist for works to be handed over in time for test events, and the games themselves will take place without disorder."

The Rio Games — like Brazil's World Cup in two months — have been plagued by delays, rising costs and concerns about the lack of coordination among Brazil's three levels of government.

Brazil faced strong criticism on Tuesday from the head of Olympic summer sports federations, who said "we are at risk at sports venues" in Rio. He said a "Plan B" had to be considered.

"It's getting very serious," said Francesco Ricci Bitti, speaking in Belek, Turkey.