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London never was asked about 2016 Summer Games, Olympic officials say

A British newspaper reported the IOC was searching for an alternative site for the 2016 Games; IOC denies it

Olympic officials have quickly stepped forward to slam a British newspaper report that London was secretly asked about taking over the 2016 Summer Games for struggling Rio de Janeiro.

The London Evening Standard wrote Friday that, with construction delays and civil unrest plaguing Brazilian preparations, the International Olympic Committee was searching for an alternative.

"Not a shred of truth to it," IOC spokesman Mark Adams told the Associated Press in an email.

Amid widespread speculation about a last-minute shift of venue, Adams added that moving the Games at this point is "simply a non-starter -- totally without foundation and totally unfeasible."

IOC officials have taken a number of emergency steps to help Rio. They have established task forces and sent Gilbert Felli, a highly placed executive, to Brazil.

The Evening Standard reported that the IOC informally approached London officials "to discover whether enough venues from the triumphant 2012 London Games could be brought back into use."

The paper quoted an unnamed source as saying: "It's very unlikely but it would be the logical thing to do."

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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