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Russian Sporting Events: Where Tens of Billions Mysteriously Disappear

Russia Celebrates Victory Day In Moscow

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi will be the most expensive Olympics in history. The estimated cost has already exceeded $50 billion after an initial estimate of $12 billion, more than six times the cost of the Vancouver 2010 Games. Opposition parties estimate $25 billion to $30 billion of that was graft. The 2018 World Cup remains five years away, but the costs seem to be following a similar pattern.

Russia has revised its estimate for the World Cup cost, from $10 billion to $20 billion (South Africa spent around $5 billion in 2010). Costs on just the new Zenit St. Petersburg stadium, set to host a semi-final, have exceeded $1.1 billion, nearly twice as much as Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium in London. The venue, supposed to be completed in 2008 in its initial iteration remains under construction. A recent setback has put the Confederations Cup, four summers from now, in doubt.

This is before FIFA, who just spent more than $16 million on a two-day meeting, step into the fray with full force.

Perhaps, we should not be so cynical. If you can’t trust individuals who somehow emerged from an anarchic free-for-all with hundreds of millions, if not billions, worth of previously state-controlled assets, who can you trust?

[Photo via Getty]

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