‘China lost over $2 bn in Shenzhen Universiade’
Beijing: China lost 12.8 billion yuan (over USD two billion) in the World University Games last year held at Chinese city of Shenzhen, a recently released report by the city auditor said.
The 26th Summer Universiade, which was held in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, between August 12 and 23 in 2011 could only generate 1.2 billion yuan, the Shenzhen Auditing Bureau report said.
Despite 14 billion yuan spent by the city to upgraded sport facilities to provide security and host extravagant opening and closing ceremonies, it said.
Hong Kong based South China Morning Post today quoted the audit report as saying that it found no evidence of serious crimes involving the games, also known as the Universiade.
Though investigations and prosecutions of at least eight senior officials, including former Shenzhen mayor Xu Zongheng, which some had attributed to spending in preparation for the event.
Xu received a suspended death sentence in May last year.
"[The audit bureau] traced the Universiade's preparation and operation between January 2008 and September 2012 and hasn't found any serious violation of laws and discipline from operational spending to stadium construction," the report said.
It made no mention of the officials concerned.
The auditor did say that it found 50 million yuan (USD eight million) in "problematic" spending, such as 11 million yuan in purchases outside of procedures and 12 million yuan that was not spent according to budget.
The report noted several small problems, including 745,500 yuan spent on fuel for a sailing competition which only needed a fraction of that.
The report will likely do little to end controversy over the spending on the games, in part because the auditor's 14-billion-yuan figure is so much smaller than estimates previously reported by mainland media, the Post report said.
The mainland-based China Times reported that the games cost Shenzhen 300 billion yuan, (USD 49 billion) including the cost of building 179 kilometres of subway linking the city centre, airport and outlying districts.
Shenzhen audit authorities said they did not include such spending, in line with national auditing guidelines.
In addition to Xu, senior Shenzhen officials who faced allegations included vice-mayor Liang Daoxing Liang, who spent four years overseeing preparations for the Universiade, was taken away by party disciplinary authorities last month amid allegations that the event operations contracts were set at far above the market rate.
Liang's subordinate, Zhao Guanghua, deputy chief of the Universiade's executive board, was also placed under investigation in July.