Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Rio Disasterneiro

So when last we left the looming catastrophe that is the Rio Olympics, the sailing venues were still an open sewer. There was a blooming Zika virus that had prospective Olympic athletes freezing their sperm just in case. And, oh, yeah, there was some sort of coup going on, because the government is broke and the biggest reason is government officials have been stealing money with both hands.

But now that we're less than two months out from the opening ceremonies? Things are better, right?

Um ... not really.

In this episode of Rio Disasterneiro, athletes and/or their coaches are being tossed from the upcoming Games like it's the Tour de France on steroids (which, in retrospect, is probably a redundancy). The entire Russian track-and-field team, one of the strongest in the world, has been banned for rampant PED abuses. A former rowing world champ from Italy, Vincent Abagnale, has been banned as a drug cheat. And, on Monday, the coach of world 1,500-meter track champion Genzebe Dibaba was arrested after Spanish police raided his hotel room and found stashes of EPO and other banned substances.

So, you know, that's perfect.

But at least the financial crisis has eased, right?

Uh ... no.

In fact, last week, the acting governor of Rio de Janeiro state declared a state of financial disaster. This is designed to give him more leeway to manage resources ravaged by an ongoing economic recession. Which means the Rio Games aren't just virus-,  bacteria- and PED-infested, they're also in a state of severe financial distress.

On the other hand, Kevin Durant confirmed Monday that he would, in fact, be playing for Team USA in Rio. So the Rio Games have that going for them.

If there are a Rio Games, of course.

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