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Will Swimming Debacle Cost Rio 2016 Bid?

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Sep 30, 2009 2:20PM

RioLogo.jpg Ethics dust-up or no, it seems that Rio's bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics has taken a big hit with the cancellation of several international swimming events. The reason? A lack of money. According to an AP report:

“There are no financial resources. They cannot find any funding. They say they cannot do it,” Cornel Marculescu, the executive director of swimming governing body FINA, told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

The World Cup page on FINA’s Web site has a line crossing out the Rio meet, with the word “canceled” printed twice.

Marculescu said Rio informed FINA of the decision “two or three weeks ago,” adding that the Brazilian city has also pulled out of hosting World Cup events from 2010-13.

Marculescu delicately avoided making any implications as to how this would affect Rio's current Olympic bid, saying, "I only know about my own sport, and there will be no World Cup in Rio for the next four years. The Olympic Games is a different budget. Rio’s proposals for aquatics venues are very good." But, as Yahoo's Maggie Hendricks points out, such a misstep so close to the final IOC vote - just a few days away, in fact - especially one involving funding, always a controversial issue, can "cast a pall" over a bid. We're not saying Rio's bid is done, but we wouldn't be surprised if this plus some patented Obama wooing tip the scales in favor of Chicago 2016. [Be sure to check in tomorrow for Lizz's candidate city profile of Rio]