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article imageIOC monitors Brazil political crisis ahead of Olympics

By AFP     Mar 21, 2016 in Sports

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) told AFP on Monday it was monitoring very closely the political crisis in Brazil five months ahead of the Rio Olympic Games.

"Naturally we are closely monitoring the political developments currently affecting the country and we're working in solidarity with the organising committee," an IOC spokesman told AFP.

"We're very confident that through this joint effort by the Brazilians and the Olympic movement, Brazil will offer an excellent Olympic Games to the world, which the whole country can be proud of," he added.

Brazil has Latin America's largest economy and will host the Olympics Games from August 5-21. But the country is currently plunged into its deepest recession in 25 years, with it's ruling leftist Workers Party (PT) of President Dilma Rousseff embroiled in a corruption scandal concerning an embezzlement scheme at state oil company Petrobras.

A congressional impeachment committee was to hold its second session Monday to weigh allegations that Rousseff fudged the government's accounts to boost public spending during her 2014 re-election campaign and downplay bad news on the Latin American giant's sinking economy.

"The Brazilian people will deliver a memorable Olympics, full of passion for sports which has made them famous globally," the IOC spokesman continued, adding: "The Games will leave a great legacy for the citizens of Rio and the entire country."

As well as the political and economic crisis, Brazil has also been confronted with the Zika virus epidemic, with 1.5 million cases since 2015.

Organisers remain confident that the problem will have cleared up in time for the Games, with World Health Organization director general Margaret Chan praising the Brazilian government's effort to eradicate the mosquito that transmits Zika during a visit to the country last month.

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