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 Sports

PHOTOS: Super Bowl Media Day 2015

Seattle Seahawks' Richard Sherman during media day for NFL Super Bowl XLIX football game Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

The Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots hit the floor for the NFL Super Bowl XLIX media day.

in Sports, Viral Videos

Marshawn Lynch doesn’t want to get fined

23-overlay5

The Seattle Seahawks running back has a goal for Media Day.

in National

Blizzard hits the northeast, New York spared its brunt

A man walks out of an ocean front house covered in ice during a winter blizzard in Marshfield, Massachusetts January 27, 2015.

As New York and New Jersey lifted travel bans, Massachusetts braces for more snow.

in National, World

World leaders join last survivors in recalling Auschwitz

Members of Polish Scouting Association from Canada and U.K. place a lit candle at block 15 in the former Nazi German concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz in Oswiecim January 26, 2015.

World leaders joined Auschwitz survivors at the site of the former Nazi death camp to mark 70 years since its liberation by Soviet troops.

in Sports, Viral Videos

Marshawn Lynch holds an “awesomer” press conference

23-overlay4

"You don't feel in beast mode. It feels you."