Construction workers on strike are pictured outside the Rio 2016 Olympic Park construction site in Rio de Janeiro

PHOTO CREDIT: REUTERS/RICARDO MORAES

(Reuters) – London has not been approached about the possibility of staging the 2016 Olympics due to delays in Rio de Janeiro, the IOC said on Friday in pouring cold water on English media reports that the Games could be moved.

“There is not a shred of truth in that,” an International Olympic Committee official told Reuters.

Rio has fallen behind schedule with the IOC urging organizers to speed up work and recently setting up a system to monitor progress more closely.

Rio’s preparations have been dogged by delays, rising costs and bad communication between different levels of the Brazilian government and organizers.

Even construction of one of the Olympic parks has yet to start.

IOC Vice President John Coates last month called Rio’s preparations the worst he had ever seen.

London staged the 2012 Games and this is not the first time previous Olympic hosts have been seen as possible replacements with Sydney, who hosted the 2000 edition, brought into discussion when Athens was late in organizing the 2004 Olympics.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; editing by Justin Palmer)