Olympics roundup: Athletes village still isn’t ready
Rio de Janeiro — Despite a delay of several days, the head of the Australian delegation says she expects her 700 athletes and officials to move into housing at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics on Wednesday.
Australia refused to check in at the Athletes Village when it officially opened on Sunday, complaining about water leaks, gas leaks, electrical faults and filth that delegation head Kitty Chiller says “endangered” athletes.
Chiller says Monday “it looks we will be able to move everybody in on Wednesday.”
Rio spokesman Mario Andrada says 630 people are “working around the clock” so the entire village can be ready on Thursday, barely a week before the Olympics open on Aug. 5.
Italian delegation head Carlo Mornati described the situation as “chaos.” The Australian delegation said the accommodations are uninhabitable, and Argentina expects only three of its five allocated floors will be “liveable.” The Netherlands Olympic Committee decided to fly staff to Rio earlier than expected to help deal with the fallout of the problems and to minimize disruption for its athletes.
Meanwhile, the delegations are taking matters into their own hands. The Italian contingent has drafted local plumbers, masons and electricians to deal with the problems they’ve encountered, according to newspaper O Globo.
The Dutch delegation has said it is looking into billing the Rio 2016 organizers for extra costs related to problems at the Olympic Village.
Russian swimmers banned
Seven Russian swimmers have been barred from the Olympics, including three linked to recent allegations of a major doping cover-up by Russian authorities, world swimming’s governing body FINA said.
Reigning world 100-meter breaststroke champion Yulia Efimova is among four Russian swimmers withdrawn by the Russian swimming federation because they previously served doping bans, FINA said. The others are Natalya Lovtsova, Anastasia Krapivina and Mikhail Dovgalyuk.
The International Olympic Committee on Sunday said Russian athletes with previous doping bans would be banned from the Rio Games. That followed the IOC’s decision not to ban the entire Russian team over allegations of state-sponsored doping.
Former World Anti-Doping Agency president Dick Pound believes it was a “cop-out” by the IOC to leave the decision on participation of Russian athletesto the global sports federations.
Pound is a senior IOC member and had been among the most vocal proponents of a total ban on Russia .
Karolyis sell facility
USA Gymnastics reached an agreement with national team coordinator Martha Karolyi and husband Bela to purchase the training facility the couple owns in Huntsville, Texas. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.