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Fraud probe will not slow down construction of Olympic venues

Fraud probe will not slow down construction of Olympic venues

Brazil

With barely four months to the start of the 2016 Olympic games, authorities working on the sporting venues have assured that a recently launched corruption probe will not affect their ability to deliver the sporting venues on time.

According to a Reuters report, Brazilian authorities have launched a corruption investigation into the construction of one of the venues for the games.

The director of the Municipal Olympic Company, Roberto Ainbinder, said the venues were on schedule even though a federal court had blocked their source of funding for the construction of a part of the Olympic Deodoro complex.

An estimated 128.5 million reais ($35 million) of funding is said to have been suspended by the court. According to a report by news portal G1, prosecutors in Rio said they had found evidence of fraud in earthmoving services at the venue.

For the Olympics, what is needed is the construction of the Handlers' Village, which are three residential buildings. There is no mystery here. It is underway and will be done in May

Ainbinder said the earthmoving services had already been completed and that the issue would not slow progress at Deodoro which he said is largely complete.

“The issue is being looked at by the legal sectors of both the city and the company. I don’t know how to answer here now. But, the fact is that the service has already been done. There will not be any standstill that can impact the schedule of the project because the Deodoro projects, the vast majority of them anyway, are done,” Ainbinder said.

The Deodoro consortium is made up of builders Queiroz Galvao and OAS.

Police and prosecutors previously said they suspected corruption in the Olympic building projects because they were carried out by the same major construction and engineering firms that had already been charged with graft in the Petrobras case.

Ainbinder however explained that most of the venues have already been completed and several test events have been held with more on the slate before the Games get underway.

“We made it essential to have an equestrian test event at Deodoro which was a great success. And there were things that were not completed for the test event because they were not necessary for the test event. For the Olympics, what is needed is the construction of the Handlers’ Village, which are three residential buildings. There is no mystery here. It is underway and will be done in May,” he said.

He further explained that the “Veterinary Clinic, which is also a very small, very simple building also wasn’t ready.” It wasn’t needed for the test event. It is being completed now. So everything is on schedule”.

Deodoro is Rio’s second-largest Olympic cluster with nine venues being built at a cost of 800 million reais ($220 million dollars). Seven have already been completed.

Reuters

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