Sochi Olympics a Massive 'Scam': Claim

Report claims $30B has been stolen
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 31, 2013 6:39 AM CDT
Sochi Olympics a Massive 'Scam': Claim
Gold, silver, and bronze medals are displayed during a presentation of Sochi 2014 Olympic medals at the SportAccord International Convention in St. Petersburg, Russia, Thursday, May 30, 2013.   (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

As Russia debuted its Sochi Olympic medals yesterday—bearing what the AP is calling a "patchwork quilt" design complete with sun rays, mountains, and beaches—opposition members were busy unveiling something else Olympics-themed: a report that calls the games "a monstrous scam." Opposition leader Boris Nemtsov co-authored the report, which claims $30 billion of the expected $50 billion that will be spent has been stolen, ostensibly lining the pockets of "oligarchs and companies close to Mr. Putin," reports Reuters. The report doesn't specifically explain how the funds were allegedly taken.

The report is the result of a six-month review of Olympic information, comparisons between estimates and final bills, and a look at spending at previous games. Nemtsov admits many contracts were kept secret, resulting in a shortage of government data, reports the AFP. Still, his report asserts that "the expenses for the Winter Olympics in Sochi turned out to be more than all expenses for all the sports structures at the previous 21 Winter Olympics put together," reports the BBC. In that vein, Reuters points out that, per the report, Olympic cost estimates usually double, but Sochi has quadrupled its initial price tag of $12 billion, making it the most expensive games ever. While government officials deny the claim, the International Olympic Committee says Russia seems to be taking the corruption talk seriously. (More 2014 Olympics stories.)

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