Earlier today, the IAAF announced that Russian track and field athletes would be banned from the Rio Oympics due to allegations of systematic doping. Rune Andersen, who heads the IAAF task force overseeing Russia's attempts to reform, said that a "deep-seated culture of tolerance, or worse, appears not to be materially changed". "No athlete will compete in Rio under a Russian flag," he said.
Perhaps instead of fighting this decision, Putin's response should be a simple "thanks" because just hours later, and just 49 days before the start of the Olympics, the Rio state government declared a state of "public calamity" (yes, that's the technical term) warning of a risk of total collapse in public security, health, transport and virtually everything else, because as the local government explained, the financial crisis is preventing it from fulfilling its requirements for the Games.
In other words, the money is gone... all gone, and as we jokingly predicted some time ago, as a result of the ongoing economic and now political catastrophe in the country, the 2016 Oympics may never even happen in the country gripped by what may be the worst depression in its history. Oh, and then the whole Zika thing.
As Bruce Douglas adds, the Rio state government fears "total collapse in public security, health, education, mobility, education, environment" due to financial crisis, and that Rio de Janeiro "will adopt exceptional necessary measures to rationalize all public services, with the aim of realizing the [Olympic] Games."
It was not clear what would happen if the rationalization fails. Finally, by declaring a state of public calamity, the state government of Rio de Janeiro aims to get access to federal cash.
The question is whether there is any left.
And then, on the background of this dire assessment, some humor:
I would like to ask the Rio de Janeiro state government what exactly declaring a state of public calamity means, but website's down #Rio2016— Bruce Douglas (@bruceecurb) June 17, 2016
The silver lining: no matter how bad Brazil's economy gets, it will always remain rich in natural resources