News

Many Russians say Sochi Games marred by corruption

Many Russians say Sochi Games marred by corruption

SOCHI GAMES: Many Russians believe preparations for the Sochi Winter Olympics have been marred by corruption and do not want their country to bid to host a summer Games, according to an opinion poll published on Wednesday. Photo: Reuters

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) – Many Russians believe preparations for the Sochi Winter Olympics have been marred by corruption and do not want their country to bid to host a summer Games, according to an opinion poll published on Wednesday.

The findings of the poll by the Levada research group were a damning verdict on preparations for the Olympics, even though President Vladimir Putin says there is no evidence of major corruption before an event intended to improve Russia’s image.

The poll found 47 percent of people believed the cost of hosting the Games, widely expected to pass $50 billion, has soared because funds have been embezzled or mismanaged.

SPECIAL COVERAGE: 2014 Winter Olympics

Only 22 percent said they believed officials or businessmen responsible for pilfering funds would be brought to justice after the Olympics, and 17 percent said they thought Russia had bid for the Games mainly to boost Putin’s image.

The poll, carried out from Jan. 24-27 among 1,603 people, showed 43 percent oppose the country bidding to host a summer Games than those who support it – just 32 percent.

Despite their misgivings over the preparations, the poll indicated most Russians were hoping their nation’s competitors would do well in Sochi and only 14 percent said they were not planning to follow the Games.

Putin hopes that hosting a successful Olympics will show how far Russia has come since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, but much of the publicity abroad has been negative in the run-up to the Games.

A Washington Post-ABC poll showed 50 percent of Americans had a favorable impression of the Sochi Games but four in 10 had unfavorable views.

The poll, published by the Washington Post, showed 53 percent of Americans had a favorable view of Russia’s efforts to prevent an attack on the Games but only 27 percent had a favorable view of Putin.

(Reporting by Timothy Heritage; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

Recent Headlines

in Music

CHART TOPPERS: This week’s top alt tracks

tompetty

LISTEN: This week's top alternative tracks, according to the latest Billboard charts.

in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: Johnny JamBoogie

18-overlay8

If football doesn't workout, "Johnny Football" always has this to fall back on.

in Viral Videos

Boy’s hilarious reaction to baby news

19-overlay3

This little boy is NOT excited about being a big brother again, but his reaction is priceless.

in Viral Videos

Dad catches daughter taking selfies

11-overlay8

This teenage girl takes more photos of herself in this 58-second video, than you have all year.

in Music

Michael Jackson’s hometown plans three-day birthday bash

FILE - In this March 5, 2009 file photo, Michael Jackson is shown at a press conference in London. Testimony from AEG Live executive Paul Gongaware on his interactions with Jackson and his negotiations with the singer’s doctor dominated the fifth week of a civil case against the company filed by the superstar’s mother, Katherine. On Tuesday May 28, 2013, Gongaware reluctantly acknowledged that he negotiated the $150,000 per month rate that Jackson’s doctor expected to be paid to serve on the “This Is It” tour.

The King of Pop's boyhood home of Gary, Indiana will celebrate this weekend with the Michael Jackson Tribute Festival of the Arts.