IOC steps in to help Rio prepare for 2016 Olympics

IOC President Thomas Bach speaks at the World Anti-Doping Agency's 2013 World Conference on Doping in Sport.
IOC President Thomas Bach speaks at the World Anti-Doping Agency’s 2013 World Conference on Doping in Sport.

New steps are being taken to ensure Brazil delivers the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero on time.

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach, at a press conference in Turkey, promised expert assistance for Rio and pledged to work even closer with Games organisers, amid growing concern among global sporting federations over the ability of Brazil to complete venues and preparations in time.

“We are putting all our energy into making these Games a success,” Bach said.

Bach, commenting after an IOC executive board meeting in Turkey, said talks with Games organisers had been constructive.

He outlined new measures, which included the formation of a high-level decision-making body, including the organising committee and the different levels of government, along with the creation of three specialist task forces, to focus on construction, operations and engaging the Brazilian population.

Bach stressed that the measures were not imposed by the IOC.

“They have been welcomed by the organising committee and the [Rio] mayor. There is commitment on both sides to make this a success.

“We want to show ways, using our experience in organising the Games, of how the different levels of government can work better together, how they can benefit from the experience of previous organisers.

“We are putting all our energy into making these Games a success. We are offering the best expertise we can offer to Brazil and Rio, and they are pleased with that.”

The IOC’s executive director of the Games, Gilbert Felli, would also go to Rio earlier than planned to assist.

“We go there as facilitators, to show where they have got issues and how to solve those issues. To be part of the team,” Bach said.

The specialist task forces will be appointed in the next few weeks. Plans include the appointment of a local project manager with expertise on construction to follow progress.

Bach talked for the Games legacy in the region. “There will be a legacy in improved infrastructure and more jobs. There will be better tourism infrastructure to receive visitors – and we all know how attractive Rio is to tourists. There will be better infrastructure for international sports events.”

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