As a result of the investigation ten members of the IOC were expelled and another ten were sanctioned. This was the first expulsion or sanction for corruption in the more than a century the IOC had existed. Although nothing strictly illegal had been done, it was felt that the acceptance of the gifts was morally dubious."
That's a word we don't hear much any more: "morality!"
Much of the money spent there is, of course, a stimulus for a reeling Russian economy offering money for construction and jobs. (It is scandalous when the big bad Russian wolf does it, but not when Obama recommends financing infrastructure investments here, a measure most economists say is desperately needed to spike the economy. (Anyone notice that the new jobs report did not reach expectations.)
Yes, there's a lot of money involved, but it is only one piece of a relatively under-covered aspect of this circus: the economic stakes.
Here the commissars of Comcast are playing footsy with Putin, shelling out a small fortune to snag the rights to broadcast the event in order to sell advertising to multi-national companies.
Money--that's what the Olympics are really about. And it's not just the US that's buying rights in a country that increasingly denies rights to sectors of its population. This is a world event.
NBC Universal spent $1.18 billion on US rights and, according to a New York Times report, is quickly recouping.
This is the most any network has ever paid for an Olympics, so you can bet they have a stake in keeping the excitement up and focused on sports, and only sports.
A year ago, the NY Times reported that NBC is looking for a "big pay-off."
"So far, sales appear to be off to a strong start. Seth Winter, the senior vice president of the NBC Sports Group, said last week that national advertising sales for the London Games were just above $900 million.
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