IOC inspectors pay visit to Rio

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SAO PAULO — International Olympic Committee inspectors are making their first visit to Rio de Janeiro since telling 2016 organizers that preparations need to be speeded.

The IOC’s coordination commission began its fourth visit to Rio on Monday to meet with local organizers and monitor the progress made at venues and infrastructure sites for the first Olympics in South America.

The IOC said in December that “time is ticking” and organizers must attack the project “with all vigor.”

The visit comes amid leadership changes and uncertainty about the budget and location of some sports venues. It also comes less than a week after a surprising decision by the IOC executive board to drop wrestling from the list of 25 sports guaranteed a berth in the 2020 Games, and just days after the arrest of double-amputee Olympic and Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius on murder charges.

It is the first time the IOC panel visits Brazil since it became public that the ousted presidents of the local badminton and ice sports federation asked the IOC to probe court interference and accused the Brazilian Olympic Committee of not complying with the Olympic Charter.

With three years to go until the Olympics, there’s been concern with the pace of progress in Rio’s preparations. The Rio committee has a newly appointed CEO and just made changes in the position of chief financial officer, and there’s still no official budget.

The city also hasn’t overcome uncertainty over the venues for rugby, field hockey and golf.

ROWING: A proposal to add women’s lightweight single sculls to the Olympics has failed to gain approval from rowing’s governing body.

Rowing federation FISA says the Canadian proposal was withdrawn at the federation’s congress in Copenhagen over the weekend.

There are currently six women’s events on the Olympic program, with eight for men.


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