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Bach dismisses caviar remark from Rio mayor

Europe
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Rio de Janeiro (dpa) - Olympic supremo Thomas Bach was not amused Thursday about a remark from Rio de Janeiro mayor Eduardo Paes comparing the financial struggle of the organizers with the wealthy International Olympic Committee (IOC).

"Brazil cannot pay caviar bills for others," Paes said in a radio interview the previous day.

Confronted with the remark at a news conference, Bach said: "I know the mayor from time to time likes the kind of remarks that he considers to be a joke. There has been no such request. This is ridiculous. The mayor knows this very well."

Bach admitted that Brazil was facing difficult times in its worst economic crisis since the 1930s, as well as major political problems, as the Games prepare to open Friday.

But he insisted that the staging of the 12-billion-dollar event shows that "you can say clearly that the financial model of the Olympic Games has really stood a stress test we hope not to stand again in the future."

"It is perhaps the worst crisis in the history of Brazil, but nevertheless you see that this country and city and organizing committee has managed to transform a city and put the Olympics on the stage," he said.

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