April 29 - Rio de Janeiro's preparations for the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics have been described as "the worst I have experienced" by John Coates, vice-president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The Australian, a member of the IOC's Coordination Commission for Rio 2016, has finally made public what many senior figures within sport have been warning privately for many months now.
Coates claimed that preparations for Rio 2016 are even "worse than Athens", the 2004 Olympics and Paralympics that then IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch handed a "yellow light" warning too because they were so chaotic.
Coates had first warned of serious problems with Rio's preparations last September shortly after being elected as vice-president at the IOC Session in Buenos Aires.
But Coates, a close ally of IOC President Thomas Bach, admitted that they are stuck now with RIo de Janeiro because it is too late to move the Games.
Attending an Olympic Forum in Sydney today, Coates told delegates construction in Rio de Janeiro has not commenced on some venues, infrastructure is significantly delayed and water quality is a major concern just two years out from the Games.
"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."
Among the IOC Taskforce sent to Rio is a construction project manager.
"We have become very concerned, they are not ready in many many ways," said Coates, who is also head of the IOC Coordination Commission for Tokyo 2020. .
"We have to make it happen and that is the IOC approach, you can't walk away from this."
The attack on Rio follows criticism from the Association of Summer International Olympic Federations (ASOIF) at SportAccord International Convention in Belek earlier this month.
Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes has also been criticised by Francesco Ricci Bitti, President of ASOIF, after he claimed that several international federations were making unrealistic demands.
Among those singled out were tennis, the sport Ricci Bitti oversees as head of the International Tennis Federation, which he called "inaccurate and unfair".
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