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IOC: Rousseff's impeachment trial won't harm Rio Games

Europe
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Rio de Janeiro (dpa) - The International Olympic Committee does not believe the upcoming impeachment trial of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff will harm the Rio de Janeiro Games in August.

"There is strong support for the Olympic Games in Brazil and we look forward to working with the new Government to deliver successful Games in Rio this Summer," IOC president Thomas Bach said in a statement Thursday.

"Preparations for the Olympic Games have now entered into a very operational phase and issues such as these have much less influence than at other stages of organising the Olympic Games ... We remain confident about the success of the Olympic Games in August.

"The Brazilian people will deliver a memorable Olympic Games full of passion for sport for which they are world renowned ... It will be a moment for Brazil to show to the world its determination to overcome the present crisis. These will be Brazil‘s Games."

Brazil‘s Senate earlier Thursday voted overwhelmingly in favour of suspending Rousseff from office for 180 days and subjecting her to an impeachment trial on charges of budget irregularities.

Rousseff is accused of tampering with figures to disguise the size of Brazil‘s budget deficit during her 2014 re-election campaign. She has denied any wrongdoing.

Rousseff lit the Olympic flame in the capital Brasilia last week, kicking off a cross-country torch relay and to build enthusiasm for the August 5-21 Games.

Intended to be a highlight of her presidency, Rousseff will now watch the Olympics from the sidelines, and interim president Michel Temer will formally open them.

The impeachment is the latest news for the struggling country which has seen delays and other problems around getting ready for the Olympics amid a recession, corruption and the outbreak of the Zika virus.

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