The International Olympic Committee has just suffered its worse three-day period since the 1972 Munich massacre of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches in the Olympic Village upon receipt of three significant pieces of bad news for the Olympic movement.
The least significant of the Olympic calamities might be the suspension of the Russian track and field team from the 2016 Rio Summer Games for an extensive doping scheme. The International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) booted Russian athletes for doping in international competition and the IOC met on Tuesday, 21 June, to consider supporting their decision regarding the suspension of said athletes. That may be the only part of the Rio Games that the IOC sees as a positive as the economic situation surrounding the Rio Olympics is getting far, far worse.
Rio doesn’t have the money to finish the construction of venues needed for the Games. The state of Rio de Janiero has declared a “state of public calamity” because of the depressed oil prices which means less revenue in Brazil. The state is asking the Brazilian federal government for funding to get the Games venue construction done and the Brazil government appears to be willing to send money to Rio. The Rio Games are on the road to total financial disaster instead of the usual incredible amount of debt that local taxpayers have to pick up.
With that in mind, Rome, Italy residents have apparently elected Virginia Raggi as the city’s new mayor and that is terrible news for the IOC. Raggi doesn’t want to spend any money on a bid by Rome for the 2024 Games and it is thought a Raggi victory would effectively put a stop to Rome’s bid. Boston bailed out of the 2024 bidding due to costs. It seems very few people want the Olympics as presently designed in their city because of the high cost of holding the athletic competition.
By Evan Weiner for The Politics of Sports Business.
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.