Watchdog: Russian company raised Olympic costs

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Associated Press

Posted on March 7, 2013 at 9:06 AM

Updated Thursday, Mar 7 at 9:06 AM

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian auditors say the state company responsible for building facilities for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi has systematically overstated costs by a total of $504 million.

The report by the national Audit Chamber draws new attention to concerns about huge cost overruns for the games. The current price tag is estimated at about $51 billion, which would make them the most expensive games. The 2008 Beijing Games cost about $40 billion.

The report, submitted to the upper house of parliament on Tuesday, says executives of the state company Olympstroi "created the conditions for an unjustified increase in the estimated cost of the sports facilities."

Russian news agencies cited a company statement saying the report gave no basis for concluding its officials baselessly raised costs.

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