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  • IOC Rules Out Major Revamp of Olympic Bidding


    (Getty Images)
    (ATR) IOC official Christophe Dubi tells Around the Rings no major overhaul of the Olympic bid process is planned, despite comments from president Thomas Bach hinting at a major revamp.

    In December, Bach said the Olympic candidature procedure “produces too many losers”, triggering the prospect of wholesale changes to the bidding process for the 2026 and 2028 Games.

    Budapest, Paris and Los Angeles are bidding for the 2024 Olympics, which will be awarded in September. Three cities dropped out of this bid race – Boston, before LA was chosen, Hamburg and Rome. Six cities withdrew from the bidding contest for the 2022 Winter Olympic that was awarded to Beijing following a two-horse race with Almaty, Kazakhstan.

    Dubi, the IOC's Olympic Games executive director, defended the current bidding system. He told ATR that Bach’s comments were “very sound” but more focused on promoting a “good legacy” in the candidature process.

    “What he said was very important, about a constant review of bidding. This is what we do for each and every review of the Games,” he said. “We review and we improve and we are currently doing this.”

    But the IOC official, who spearheaded a major revamp of the bidding procedure for the 2024 contest, ruled out any big tweaks to the process for the 2026 Winter Olympics and the summer edition in 2028.

    However, Dubi admitted that the IOC may “start with a more limited number of cities” for future bid races. This would effectively diminish the chances of cities dropping out and, in so doing, tarnishing the IOC’s image and the reputation of the Olympic brand.

    The invitation phase, introduced as part of the IOC’s reforms package to increase flexibility and reduce bidding costs, will be extended and more assistance offered to interested cities using the IOC’s resources and experts, Dubi added.

    "Everything that has been learned from the past can be transferred," he said.

    The IOC executive said he was “very confident” in the success of the bidding framework for the next two Olympic contests. Despite the IOC's trouble-hit bid races for 2022 and 2024, he said the IOC's bid reforms under Agenda 2020 had reignited interest in the Olympics from prospective bid cities: "It is well understood – cities are asking questions... how can we host and demonstrate the appeal of Agenda 2020."

    Reported by Mark Bisson

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