Russia wins Sochi gold for corruption? IOC official cites $18B in embezzlement

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A Swiss member of the International Olympic Committee said that roughly a third of the $55 billion spent on the Sochi Olympics has disappeared due to corruption.   

Gian-Franco Kasper, president of the International Ski Federation and a Swiss member of the IOC, made the statement Thursday, adding that Russian corruption was an “everyday matter,” the Christian Science Monitorreported. The estimated cost of Sochi embezzlement comes in at $18 billion. 


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Simply acknowledging the bribes and kickbacks is an accomplishment, according to former Russian deputy prime minister Boris Nemtsov.

“We’ve been trying to interest the IOC in this issue for quite awhile, but to no avail,” Mr. Nemtsov told the publication. “Until now there’s been no clear acknowledgement of the issue, even though the facts are widely available. The attitude is that ‘all is well’ and if there’s any corruption it’s a problem for the host country and not the IOC.”

According to the Christian Science Monitor, construction costs connected with the Sochi Olympic Games are often three times more than similar projects in that part of the world. Initially, preparation for the games was estimated to come in at $12 billion.

“[The IOC is] obliged to pay attention to this. Though there has been considerable attention to the issue of gay rights in advance of the Olympics, and the IOC has taken a stand on this, they have largely ignored corruption, environmental destruction, and other types of human rights violations that have been occurring,” Mr. Nemtsov said.

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