Sydney: International Olympic Committee vice president John Coates has slammed Rio's preparations for the 2016 Olympics, saying they are "the worst I have experienced."
Coates, who has made six trips to Rio as part of the Coordination Commission responsible for overseeing the preparations, said the IOC had been forced to take the unprecedented action of embedding experts in the local organizing committee, including a construction project manager, to help ensure the games are delivered.
Coates told an Olympic forum in Sydney on Tuesday that the IOC had to form a special taskforce because the "situation is critical on the ground." He said the preparations were "worse than Athens," outlining that construction has not started on some venues, infrastructure is significantly delayed and saying "the city also has social issues that need to be addressed".
"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," Coates 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."
Coates was involved in the organization of the Sydney 2000 Games as head of the Australian Olympic Committee and is chairman of the IOC's coordination commission for Tokyo 2020.
Brazil has also come under fire from football's world governing body, FIFA, for long delays in construction of stadiums and other infrastructure and the overdue delivery of venues for the World Cup, which kicks off in June.