(ATR) The government of Mexico will propose an auction of confiscated assets to help prepare its athletes for the delayed Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The Mexican president announces his idea of an auction. (Presidencia)
During his daily morning press conference monitored by television by Around the Rings
, Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador said that funding alternatives must be found for high-performance athletes after the planned support for Tokyo 2020 has disappeared because of the one-year postponement.
The president recalled the possibility of repeating an auction like last year involving the mansion confiscated from the Mexican businessman of Chinese origin Zhenli Ye Gon, who was accused of being linked to organized crime.
The more than $5 million obtained from that event was used as a stimulus to the 544 athletes from the Mexican delegation that participated in the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, with medalists receiving greater recognition.
"Now that the Olympics have been postponed, their support is over," Obrador said.
Mexico's Olympic athletes need help. (COM)
"They (the athletes) also have other scholarships, but we are going to help them, so that they can move forward.
"We are going to see in the institute ("Institute to Give Back to the People the Stolen") what we have to auction and continue to keep the scholarships to all the Olympians," he added.
The president of the Mexican Olympic Committee, Carlos Padilla Becerra, gave statements to Around The Rings about this proposal:
"We acknowledge the President of Mexico for the effort he is leading so that our athletes do not stop receiving their scholarships and sufficient resources in preparation," he said.
Padilla Becerra described this initiative as "very important" at a time when Mexico, like many countries in the world, are going through a health and economic crisis.
The Mexican president clarified that this money is outside the sports budget for 2021.
He said that with the Domain Extinction Law, many assets that are considered ill-gotten are obtained through the Attorney General's Office, such as ranches, mansions, yachts, airplanes, and jewelry, among others.
This legislation is a legal instrument through which a person can lose property rights over the assets they possess in the event that their origin is illegal or they have been used to commit criminal acts.
In this situation, the properties would pass to the power of the state after a sentence, without any type of compensation or consideration.
The announcement of this new auction in order to support social assistance and in which high-performance athletes were included, came after Obrador held an auction for the value of the presidential plane that his administration had inherited from previous governments.
This initiative of the Mexican president comes at a time when numerous representatives of the local sports sector have expressed concern about the government's proposal to reduce the sports budget for 2021, the year in which the postponed Olympic Games will be held in Tokyo in the summer.
In this context, attention has also been drawn to the recent disappearance of the Fund for High Performance Sports (FODEPAR).
Mexico is currently experiencing a serious health and economic emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic.
As of September 17, Mexico had registered more than 72,000 deaths and 684,000 infections.
Written by Miguel Hernandez
For general comments or questions, click here.
Your best source of news about the Olympics is AroundTheRings.com, for subscribers only.