IOC shoots down British report on moving Rio Games

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 9, 2014 at 12:24 pm •  Published: May 9, 2014
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LONDON (AP) — The IOC said Friday there is "not a shred of truth" to a British newspaper report that London has been approached about replacing Rio de Janeiro as host of the 2016 Olympics.

The London Evening Standard reported that the British capital, which hosted the 2012 Olympics, has been "secretly asked" if it would be able to take over from Rio because of the delays in Brazil's preparations.

"Not a shred of truth in it," International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams said in an email to The Associated Press. "Simply a non-starter — totally without foundation and totally unfeasible."

With two years to go before the first games in South America, Rio has come under severe scrutiny for chronic delays. Last week, IOC vice president John Coates called Brazil's preparations "the worst I have experienced" and said Rio is further behind than Athens was before the 2004 Olympics.

Coates later toned down his remarks, saying Rio organizers "recently took a number of measures designed to make sure that we can together deliver a great games."

The IOC has implemented emergency measures to tackle the situation in Brazil, sending long-time executive Gilbert Felli to Rio to work with local organizers, setting up several task forces, hiring a local construction manager and creating a high-level decision-making body.