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

(Newser) – 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.

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.
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)
The gold medal is displayed for journalists during a presentation of Sochi 2014 Olympic medals at the SportAccord International Convention in St. Petersburg, Russia, Thursday, May 30, 2013.
The gold medal is displayed for journalists 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)
Boris Nemtsov, former Russian deputy prime minister and opposition leader, presents a report claiming widespread corruption during preparations for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi.
Boris Nemtsov, former Russian deputy prime minister and opposition leader, presents a report claiming widespread corruption during preparations for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi.   (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
A view of the athletes village building site during Alpine test events for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, in Sochi, Russia, Friday, Feb. 10, 2012.
A view of the athletes village building site during Alpine test events for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, in Sochi, Russia, Friday, Feb. 10, 2012.   (AP Photo/Alessandro Trovati)
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