Russia 2018: ‘we Have Nothing To Hide’ In World Cup Bid Investigation

Since early last month, Russian officials have rounded up the workers for alleged violations of migration or employment rules, the New York-based human rights group said today in an e-mailed statement. Many have been kept in arbitrary and inhuman conditions and some expelled from Russia, it said. Its outrageous for the migrant workers who helped to build Sochis shiny new Olympic venues to be herded into detention and deported, said Jane Buchanan, associate director for Europe and Central Asia. Ilya Djous, a spokesman for Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, whos in charge of Olympic preparations, said by phone that there havent been any mass violations of labor or migration rules. Russia stages the competition in February and has spent about $50 billion, making these the most expensive Winter Games . The project has included road building and a train service to connect the coastal hub to be used for the opening ceremony and ice skating events and the mountains that will host the skiing and downhill competitions. Construction workers are being exploited and cheated out of their wages, Human Rights Watch said in February. Some employers demanded 12-hour shifts with few days off, withheld passports and work permits and refused to pay promised salaries, the group said. President Vladimir Putin has sought to attract large international events, including the 2018 soccer World Cup and last years Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. To contact the reporters on this story: Henry Meyer in Moscow at hmeyer4@bloomberg.net ; Ilya Arkhipov in Moscow at iarkhipov@bloomberg.net To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net More News:

Football’s world governing body FIFA awarded the 2018 competition to Russia and the 2022 World Cup to Qatar in December 2010, a decision which has been dogged by allegations of corruption and wrongdoing. Michael Garcia, a former New York attorney, is head of the investigative arm of FIFA’s ethics committee and will visit all of the countries involved in the bidding process for the two tournaments, beginning in London next week. Garcia has always insisted he is completely independent from FIFA and would not hesitate to take action against president Sepp Blatter or other top FIFA officials if he found evidence that they broke the rules. Qatar 2022: Too hot for football? Winter World Cup in 2022? Are Qatar 2022 migrant workers abused? Qatar ‘slave state’ for World Cup workers The head of media for Russia 2018 says the committee will co-operate fully with Garcia’s fact-finding investigation. “We can confirm the local organizing committee (LOC) will fully support Mr Garcia’s work if he contacts us,” read a statement issued to CNN. “The Russia 2018 committee ran a bid campaign in full compliance with FIFA rules and ethics, and we were awarded the right to host the FIFA World Cup because of the unique and compelling proposition we put together. “The LOC continues to conduct itself with exactly the same degree of transparency, commitment to excellence and spirit of fair play.” Blog: Can the Qatar World Cup be moved? How and where Garcia’s potential meeting with Russia takes place is open to question given in April he was one of 18 people barred from entering the country over what Moscow said were human rights abuses, linked to the lawyer’s arrest and charging of Viktor Bout, a Russian, who is serving a 25-year prison sentence in the U.S. for arms trafficking.