Road To The Olympic Games

Rio, Sochi, Tokyo: All battling for Olympic scandals record?

Despite his better judgement, Brandon Hicks takes a look at the road to the Rio Games, where it looks like we're going to set an Olympic record for scandals. However, stiff competition comes from past hosts Sochi, and future hosts Tokyo.

Doping, corruption, security concerns dog past, present, and future Games hosts

In this Sept. 7, 2013, file photo, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, centrr, shakes hands with President of the International Olympic Committee Jacques Rogge as Tokyo 2020 Olympic Bid Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda stands by after signing the Host City Contract for the 2020 Olympic Games. A shell company in Singapore is increasingly emerging at the heart of what French prosecutors believe was an organized web of corruption in sports, with their suspicions now extending to Tokyo's winning bid for the 2020 Olympics. (File/The Associated Press)

Despite our better judgement, let's take a look at the road to the Rio Games, where it looks like we may set an Olympic record for scandals. However, there's some stiff competition coming from past and future hosts.

Triple the scandal

Proving the old saying that Olympic scandals come in threes (or fours, or fives, or nines), three separate Games came under scrutiny this week.

Russia (stop us if you've heard this one before) has been in damage control mode after a CBS report revealed that dozens of athletes may have doped in Sochi, including a whopping 15 medal winners, as part of a massive state-run operation.

Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko has since apologized, likely citing the nation's spotlesstrackrecord in these things, so that'll probably settle this nicely.

Over in Tokyo, home of the "squared circle" 2020 Olympic logo, a suspicious $2.6 million US payment is being investigated, as the money was sent to a shell company which has become notoriously linked to sports corruption and Olympic bribery.

French prosecutors say the payment was named, creatively, "Tokyo 2020 Olympic Game Bid." Nobody is even trying anymore.

And in Rio, the impending 2016 Olympics are continuing their weekly trend of looking like a looming disaster, with these stories the latest examples:

  • A Canadian professor specializing in public health published a commentary in the Harvard Public Health Review, urging the postponement of move of the Rio Olympics in order to prevent a worldwide Zika virus outbreak
  • Rio's new subway line, built for the Olympics, will not be ready for the Olympics
  • Despite increased police presence, favela crime is still rising
  • Work has been halted on some unfinished venues due to worker safety issues
  • Rio's state security secretary flat out said that the major budget cuts will impact Olympic safety
  • The headline directly underneath this bullet point…

'Do not go to Brazil' – famous Brazilian athlete

Another prominent figure has come out to warn against going to Brazil for the Rio Olympics. What makes this person special is that he's from Brazil.

"Things are getting uglier here every day," said Brazilian soccer great Rivaldo on Instagram. "I advise everyone with plans to visit Brazil for the Olympics in Rio — to stay home. You'll be putting your life at risk here."

Brazil reportedly asked Pele to do damage control, but he was too busy promoting Crestfield Wax Paper somewhere in the U.S.

Practicing safe virus management

The Australian Olympic team is doing its part to stand firm against one of the threats in Brazil, as it will give its athletes Zika-proof condoms for the trip. Combating the Zika virus has been extremely hard, but officials are knocking on wood and hoping that the condoms will act as a stiff defence against the threat.

If you read into any of the word selections in the above paragraph, rest assured that they were completely by accident. We're straight shooters here.

Cutting corners for Dear Leader

The North Korean marathon team took a bit of a hit this week, when it came out that two runners from their men's team may have cut part of a course to qualify for the Games.

None of this will impact North Korea's results at the Rio Olympics, where they are likely to, according to their state-run broadcaster, sweep all of the medals in all the events, just like all previous Olympics before this one.

With files from The Associated Press

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