Rio Olympics 2016: IOC vice-president John Coates warns there 'is no plan B' despite Rio preparations suffering 'critical' delays

The International Olympic Committee have stepped in to try and speed up preparations in Brazil

A senior IOC figure insists there is no alternative to staging the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro despite chronic delays causing a "critical" situation in the host city.

John Coates, an IOC vice-president and president of the Australian Olympic committee (AOC), delivered a devastating blast at the state of Rio's preparations.

He described the preparations as "the worst I have experienced" and "worse than Athens [the 2004 hosts]" but said there was "no plan B".

Coates, a member of the IOC co-ordination commission monitoring Rio's preparations, said: "We have become very concerned. They are not ready in many, many ways. We have to make it happen and that is the IOC approach - you can't walk away from this.

"The IOC has formed a special task force to try and speed up preparations, but the situation is critical on the ground. The IOC has adopted a more hands-on role. It is unprecedented for the IOC, but there is no plan B. We are going to Rio."

Speaking at an Olympic Forum in Sydney, in comments reported on the AOC's website, Coates revealed that construction has not even started at some venues, that infrastructure work is significantly delayed and that water quality is a major concern.

Coates added: "The city also has social issues that need to be addressed."

He also claimed that Games organisers were "fobbing off" IOC inspectors when they asked for specific information, and that only two staff were working in the test event department with tournaments due to start this year.

"No-one is able to give answers at the moment," Coates added.

"Can they use the car parks in the village for recovery centres? What will be the time to take from this venue to this venue?

"All of those things, they're being fobbed off."

The IOC has not faced such a crisis with an Olympic host city since Athens in 2004, where work continued until the very last minute before it was finally able to stage the Games.

Earlier this month, sports federations demanded a back-up plan to Rio because of the chronic delays and IOC president Thomas Bach promised action to stave off the crisis, sending in Olympic Games director Gilbert Felli as a troubleshooter.

Rio's mayor Eduardo Paes has hit back at the complaints, saying the sports federations were making too many unnecessary demands but that he will not bow to their pressure.

PA

Arts and Entertainment
Joe Cocker performing on the Stravinski hall stage during the Montreux Jazz Festival, in Montreux, Switzerland in 2002
musicHe 'turned my song into an anthem', says former Beatle
News
Clarke Carlisle
sport
Sport
footballStoke City vs Chelsea match report
Arts and Entertainment
theatreThe US stars who've taken to UK panto, from Hasselhoff to Hall
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
News
newsIt was due to be auctioned off for charity
News
Coca-Cola has become one of the largest companies in the world to push staff towards switching off their voicemails, in a move intended to streamline operations and boost productivity
peopleCoca-Cola staff urged to switch it off to boost productivity
Environment
Sir David Attenborough
environment... as well as a plant and a spider
Voices
'That's the legal bit done. Now on to the ceremony!'
voicesThe fight for marriage equality isn't over yet, says Siobhan Fenton
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there