RIO DE JANEIRO – Rio Olympics officials confirmed that an athlete in the Olympic Village had a large sum of money stolen by a village employee, who was subsequently arrested.
“I can confirm the case,” said Rio 2016 spokesman Mario Andrada, who did not name the athletes or their nation of origin. “I can also confirm that the person has been arrested and that the money has been given back to its rightful owner.”
According to Fernando Olivieri of Yahoo Brazil, the athlete lost a total of $20,000 in the theft. (Why the athlete had $20,000 in the Olympic Athletes Village, we’re not sure, but that McDonald’s isn’t going to buy itself…)
Andrada said there’s already been a reaction to the incident from the organizers, as far as security. “I can confirm that security has been upgraded in the village in several instances,” he said, but said the measures must be kept undisclosed. “The fact that the person was arrested means they are working,” he said.
Olivieri reports that one of those upgrades was having “organizing committee staff accompany outsourced workers in the cleaning of rooms.” Which sounds like an extensive reallocation of resources.
The Olympic Athletes Village hasn’t remained immune to Rio’s crime problem.
It began with the Australian delegation reporting that laptops and clothes were stolen from its athletes during an evacuation of their housing due to a fire.
It continued with the Danish delegation reporting that its athletes had electronics stolen from their rooms. “In connection with the many extra workers, cleaners and housekeepers who have been squeezed into the Olympic village because of our requirements and requests, we have been subjected to a series of thefts,” Denmark’s chef de mission Morten Rodtwitt told broadcaster TV 2.
Beyond theft, there have also been two arrests for sexual crimes: Boxer Jonas Junia, the Namibian flag bearer, was arrested for an alleged sexual assault against a maid; and Hassan Saada, a boxer from Morocco, was arrested for sexual harassment of a village employee that was cleaning his room. Both are facing pending charges.
Andrada said the Rio Olympic organizers had no stats comparing the incidents of crime in the Athletes Village this year to previous Olympics. He stressed that athletes and staff “must remain vigilant and take measures to protect the security of everyone involved in the village operation.”
Like, maybe, hiding $20,000 better, we imagine.
Listen to Yahoo Sports’ Greg Wyshynski podcast from Rio on GRANDSTANDING, featuring U.S. swimming legend Summer Sanders on Michael Phelps, IOC doping and Donald Trump: