Claims that a mere $30bn has been stolen so far in connection with preparations for the Sochi Olympic Winter Games have been met with barely concealed derision by representatives from the world‘s major sporting organisations and other international bodies.
"Frankly, it's a farce," said a senior figure from FIFA. "The Russians have had these games in the bag since 2007, so to have only racked up $30bn in over 6 years is a disgrace. I rememeber a colleague connected with the unsuccessful Salzburg bid saying that the Russians would never be ready in time to take full advantage of this globally sanctioned licence to steal and he’s been proven right. Despite all the PR and the efforts of Putin to portray his country as world leaders in corruption, it seems that they’re not all they crack themselves up to be."
Other officials from the IOC, World Bank and EU have also expressed their private dismay at the Russians‘ ineptitude. However, some comfort has been taken in the news that Brazil’s combined corruption efforts in the lead up to the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Rio Olympics have already passed the $150bn mark and should see reputations restored in double quick time.
"It has been a bit of a wake-up call for everybody," commented Geraldo Pinheiro da Silva, head of Rio’s Olympic Organising Committee, "but I can reassure sports fans around the world that preparations for both the World Cup and Olympic Games in Brazil are running massively behind plan and that many, many personal fortunes, including my own, will be made at the public‘s expense by the time the Olympic flame is extinguished in Rio on 21 August, 2016."