Rio 2016 Communications Director, Mario Andrada

Rio 2016 organisers say they have so far sold fewer than half of all tickets for the Olympic Games.

A total of 7.5 million tickets were issued for the Games, which will run from 5-21 August.

“About 47 per cent of tickets have been sold,” Rio 2016 Communications Director, Mario Andrada, announced on Wednesday.

However sales of more expensive tickets for premium events and the opening ceremony mean ticket revenues have reached 74 per cent or $195million.

The build-up to the Games has been overshadowed by an economic downturn in the country, political turmoil and the mosquito-borne Zika virus.

The 2012 Olympics in London reached its revenue target from ticket sales months before the start because of huge demand.

The organising committee sold a total of 8.2 million (96%) of the 8.5 million tickets issued for the 2012 Games.

Andrada also said that that the Brazilian government would issue a presidential decree to ensure that a $25m (£17.7m) drug testing lab in Rio does not go unused.
The World Anti-Doping Agency has issued a deadline of 18 March for Brazil to comply with international doping legislation.

The decree, to be issued on 15 March, will “solve this problem”, according to Andrada, because there is not enough time to push new laws through parliament.
Before the outbreak of the Zika virus, there were health concerns about pollution in the water where some events will be held.

As a result, Guanabara Bay, which will host sailing and swimming, and the lagoon where rowing and canoeing events will take place are to be subject to increased testing.

Both sites will be examined every other day from April, and then on a daily basis during the Games.

In addition, Andrada claimed that almost all venues were ready for the Olympics, saying: “All venues are almost around 95 per cent ready.
“The velodrome needs a little more but it will be ready at the end of April.”