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Rio Olympics 2016: Australia refuse to move into athletes' village

July 24,2016 18:17

Australia are refusing to move their athletes into the Rio Olympic Village because of concerns about the state of their accommodation. Problems include "blocked toilets, leaking pipes and exposed wiring", according to team boss Kitty Chiller. Chiller ...

Teams are housed in tower blocks at the Olympic Village in Rio de JaneiroOlympic Games on the BBCVenue: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Dates: 5-21 August Time in Rio: BST -4Coverage: Watch on BBC One, BBC Four, Red Button and up to 24 HD video streams on mobile, desktop and connected TVs, plus follow on Radio 5 live and via live text commentary.Australia are refusing to move their athletes into the Rio Olympic Village because of concerns about the state of their accommodation.Problems include "blocked toilets, leaking pipes and exposed wiring", according to team boss Kitty Chiller.Chiller said she had raised concerns with local event organisers and the International Olympic Committee, and was "pushing hard for a solution".Australian staff are in nearby hotels with the first athletes due on Monday.Alternative accommodation for team members arriving over the next three days has been arranged.The $1.5bn (£1.14bn) 31-building village has tennis courts, football pitches, seven swimming pools and will house 18,000 athletes and officials at the height of the Games, which start on 5 August, less than two weeks away.Chiller, the head of Australia's Olympic delegation, said extra maintenance staff and more than 1,000 cleaners have been engaged to fix the problems but the faults, particularly the plumbing issues, have not been resolved.She said in a statement on the Australian Olympic website: "Due to a variety of problems in the Village, including gas, electricity and plumbing, I have decided that no Australian team member will move into our allocated building."Problems include blocked toilets, leaking pipes, exposed wiring, darkened stairwells where no lighting has been installed and dirty floors in need of a massive clean."Organisers have conceded there have been "teething troubles" and promised that crews would be "working 24 hours a day until the issues are resolved".But Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes responded to Australian criticism by saying the Village is "more beautiful" than Sydney for the 2000 Games and that he was about to put "a kangaroo jumping outside" to "make them feel at home".Has anybody else complained?
London 2012 rowing champion Mahe Drysdale said he was the first athlete to arrive at the Olympic Village and posted this picture on InstagramThe New Zealand team boss Rob Waddell said he was "disappointed" the Village was not ready, adding "it hasn't been easy", but said with "a bit of hard work", their facilities were ready for the first athletes arrival."Our team has had to get stuck in to get the job done," said Waddell.Italy's Carlo Mornati said his team were hiring labourers, electricians, plumbers and bricklayers to bring the apartments "up to normal conditions as soon as possible".The British team have had staff in place for several days and a spokesman told Reuters: "We are confident that our accommodation is ready to receive athletes and will be to the highest standards within the village."Whilst we have encountered some maintenance difficulties this is not uncommon with new build structures of this type and we have been working hard to overcome them."And the US Olympic Committee said there were "minor issues," but that it was no different to "every Games".
One of the 3,600 Olympic Village apartments, which will be sold off after the Games for prices up to $700,000 (£530,000)Subscribe to the BBC Sport newsletter to get our pick of news, features and video sent to your inbox.

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