Chris the Redeemer

IOC official: Some Rio 2016 timelines ‘remain very, very tight’

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The Olympic world is looking at Buenos Aires, Argentina, this week, but International Olympic Committee inspectors had a close eye on Rio de Janieiro on Sunday and Monday.

An IOC coordination commission led by 1984 Olympic 400-meter hurdles champion Nawal El Moutawakel wrapped a visit on Labor Day, tracking the progress of Rio, which will be the first South American host of the Olympics in 2016. The IOC has made five visits to Rio, according to The Associated Press.

“A lot of work has been done, but a large amount still remains across the entire project and some timelines remain very, very tight,” El Moutawakel said, according to the AP. “Rio must therefore continue to focus on its priorities such as meeting the matrix of responsibility and delivering the venues and associated infrastructure.”

Brazilian cities were in worldwide news during this summer’s Confederations Cup, where protests were held, some against the government and its decisions on spending ahead of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics. Tear gas and rubber bullets were used by police.

“We’d like also to protect our athletes,” El Moutawakel said. “We’d like to make sure that the Olympics Games are run in a peaceful way.”

IOC executive director Gilbert Felli said the IOC asked Great Britain and Australia to share crowd control techniques with Brazil.

In addition to the timeline of venue construction, organizers’ engaging with the public is a concern.

“We believe the organizing committee didn’t do enough,” Felli said, according to Bloomberg. “The authorities need to engage and explain more to the population.”

Key information for IOC session in Buenos Aires

No Zika cases from Olympics, WHO says

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 12:  An aerial view of the Christ The Redeemer statue (F) and the Maracana Stadium (B) on November 12, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)
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There have been zero Zika virus cases stemming from the Rio Olympics, the World Health Organization said Thursday.

“From the reports WHO received from national health authorities, there have so far been no laboratory confirmed cases of Zika virus in anyone associated with the Olympics,” the organization said in an online update Thursday.

Earlier this summer, several athletes cited Zika concerns in skipping the Olympics.

The World Health Organization said before the Rio Games that the Olympics posed “a very low risk” of accelerating the Zika virus spread around the world.

Thousands of athletes will come to Rio for the Paralympics that run from Sept. 7-18, which is still during Brazil’s winter, lessening the Zika risk.

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Devon Allen weighs turning pro in track and field

Devon Allen
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University of Oregon hurdler and wide receiver Devon Allen said he “thinks” he’s turning pro in track, but also said he hasn’t really decided if his NCAA track career is finished Thursday.

“There’s not really much more I can do in college track other than break the collegiate record,” Allen said.

Allen, a University of Oregon junior, finished fifth in the Rio Olympic 110m hurdles on Aug. 16 after winning the Olympic Trials on July 9.

Allen can turn pro in track and field and still play football for the Ducks, so long as he keeps his track and field profits to prize money and not endorsement deals.

He’s definitely planning on playing for Oregon’s football team this season, perhaps even in the season opener Sept. 3.

As for track season next winter and spring, that’s looking unlikely. Allen noted that he has won NCAA individual and team titles.

The only missing piece is the NCAA record of 13.00 set by former world-record holder Renaldo Nehemiah. Allen’s personal best is 13.03.

It’s clear that Allen would like to be a professional in both track and football.

“The NFL is something I’ve been dreaming about doing, just like I dreamed about running in the Olympics,” said Allen, who caught nine passes for 94 yards last season, coming back from tearing knee ligaments in the Rose Bowl. “I kind of accomplished that Olympic dream, obviously, in four years, I want to win a gold medal, so that’s one more step to that dream. Now my next dream is to play in the NFL.”

VIDEO: Top track and field moments from Rio Olympics