MOSCOW, May 12 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian capital is being considered as a possible replacement host for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games amid doubts that facilities in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro will be completed on time, a source in the International Olympic Committee (IOC) told R-Sport Monday.
The source added that Moscow's ability to afford the Games was still a question, and that the city could face a few difficulties in preparing certain sport facilities, such as in sailing, equestrian events and cycling.
The London Evening Standard reported last week that the IOC had secretly asked if the British capital, which hosted the 2012 Olympics, would be able to take over from Rio de Janeiro because of the delays in Brazil’s preparations.
The International Olympic Committee said there is "not a shred of truth" to the British newspaper’s report.
Meanwhile, the IOC source said it was highly likely that London venues could be used for the 2016 Games, adding that this decision would be taken after the FIFA World Cup Brazil, to be held between June 12 and July 13.
“The transfer of the Olympics to London is possible. I think the procedure will be like this: the IOC will wait for the results of the World Cup and how they will hold it, and will take a decision after, if no progress is made,” the source said.
With two years to go before the Games, Rio has come under severe scrutiny for chronic delays. IOC Vice President John Coates called Brazil’s preparations “the worst” he had ever witnessed.
London hosted the Olympic Games in an emergency in 1908, replacing Rome after a disastrous eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.