12 Dec 2015

IOC confident Rio Olympics won't be compromised

1:11 pm on 12 December 2015

The International Olympic Committee is confident next year's Games in Rio de Janeiro will not be compromised by the political turmoil and economic downturn in Brazil, although preparations have "inevitably" been affected.

The Rio Olympics have been plagued by delays for years but the situation was improving, the IOC said.

The IOC also said it had set up a working group to look at savings in the runup to the Games as the ruling body and organisers look to tackle costs amid a deteriorating financial climate.

As preparations go into the final stretch there is also political upheaval with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff facing impeachment.

"It will inevitably affect the Games," IOC Vice President Craig Reedie told reporters when asked if Brazil's situation had any impact on preparations.

Rio Olympics logo

Rio Olympics logo Photo: Supplied/IOC

"There are challenges," he said after Rio Games organisers delivered a progress report at the IOC Executive board meeting.

Opposition politicians launched the impeachment process against Rousseff last week for allegedly breaking Brazil's budget laws.

The Supreme Court then suspended proceedings pending a decision on its constitutional validity.

Political wrangling over the impeachment could drag on for at least six months at a time when the government faces legislative gridlock, the deepest recession in three decades and a corruption scandal at state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA.

Police investigating the alleged corruption around Petrobras also plan to probe more than $15 billion of construction contracts for the Olympics in Rio.

The current situation is in stark contrast to when Rio was awarded the Games in 2009 when Brazil was enjoying an economic boom.

Reedie, however, said progress had been made towards getting South America's first Olympics ready on time.

- Reuters