July 23 2014 Latest news:
Freddy Mayhew, Senior reporter
Monday, May 12, 2014
Olympic organisers have dismissed claims that the Games could return to London in two years after preparations in Rio were said to be behind.
A major London newspaper claimed an “informal approach” had been made by Olympic bosses about the possibility of using London 2012 venues for the 2016 Games, set to take place in Brazil.
But, a spokesman for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) told Parklife there was “not a shred of truth” in the claims, adding: “This is simply a non-starter – totally without foundation and totally unfeasible.”
Last month, IOC vice-president John Coates described preparations for the next Olympics as “the worst that I’ve experienced”.
He told delegates at an Olympic Forum in Sydney, Australia, that construction had not started on some venues with water quality also a major concern.
“We have become very concerned, they are not ready in many, many ways,” he said, but also added: “There is no plan B. We are going to Rio.”
A spokesman for the IOC confirmed a number of special measures had been put in place to support the Games in Rio.
They included setting up a joint task force with the organisers, the recruitment of a local construction manager as well as creating a high-level decision-making body bringing together the IOC, government and all key partners.
More regular visits from the Olympic Games executive director Gilbert Felli were also planned.
The spokesman said Mr Felli had received “a very positive response on the ground in the past few days, and a number of recent developments show that things are moving in the right direction”.
She added: “Now is a time to look forward to work together and to deliver great Games for Rio, Brazil, and for the world and not to engage in discussion of the past.
“We continue to believe that Rio is capable of providing outstanding Games.”
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has been transformed since it hosted the Games in 2012 with homes in the former Athelete’s village now in the hands of private owners and competition venues since reopened to the public.