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Last updated: March 27. 2013 11:53PM - 1644 Views

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland — The IOC expressed confidence Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro’s preparations for the 2016 Olympics despite the temporary closure of the stadium that will host track and field events.


Rio authorities said they decided to shut the Joao Havelange Stadium because of structural problems with the roof.


IOC spokesman Mark Adams said the stadium closure was no reason for alarm.


“There are still more than 3½ years to go before the games and we are absolutely confident that they will deliver,” he told The Associated Press.


Track and field’s governing body said it is monitoring the situation.


“We have noted this and will keep a very close eye on developments,” IAAF spokesman Nick Davies told the AP.


Rio officials said Wednesday there is no timetable for the stadium’s reopening, but the venue’s preparations for the games should not be affected.


“We are continuing with the Olympic projects, they are our responsibility,” said Armando Queiroga, president of Rio’s department in charge of the stadium. “We are very confident in what we planned to do.”


IOC executive director Gilbert Felli reiterated this will be a crucial year for Rio organizers.


“The games are very complicated to organize,” he said in Istanbul, where the IOC was assessing the Turkish city’s bid for the 2020 Olympics. “The scope is huge. You always have, during the seven years, some key parts. Each organizing committee reaches at some point some difficulty.


“Rio (is) in a key period of delivering the facilities. And as such you have some key monitoring to have. We are not concerned that the Brazilians will not be able to deliver the games.”


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