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28 Aug 2000
Olympic News, Press Release

Lausanne, 28 August 2000 - Decision Marks the Latest Implementation of IOC Reform -

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board today in Lausanne determined the following cities have been accepted as candidate cities to host the Games of the XXIX Olympiad in 2008: Beijing, Istanbul, Osaka, Paris, and Toronto. Ten cities, nominated by their National Olympic Committees (NOCs), had applied to be named candidates: Bangkok, Beijing, Cairo, Havana, Istanbul, Kuala Lumpur, Osaka, Paris, Seville, and Toronto. The host city will be elected on 15-17 July, 2001.

This action represents the first time the IOC has reviewed the organizational capacities of cities interested in hosting the Olympic Games before allowing them to bid. By accepting the candidates, the Executive Board concluded the 2008 bid acceptance phase instituted by IOC reform and now required by Bye-Law 2 of Rule 37 in the Olympic Charter.

An analysis report was developed by a working group composed of external specialists in key areas of Games organization, members of the IOC administration who coordinate aspects of the Games, and representatives of the athletes, the NOCs, the International Olympic Sports Federations (IFs), and past Organizing Committees for the Olympic Games (OCOGs).

The Working Group concluded that four cities, namely Beijing, Osaka, Paris, and Toronto, had reached an overall grade above the established benchmark. The EB accepted the conclusion of the working group to name as candidates the above four cities and decided to include Istanbul as the fifth.

The working group critically reviewed the information on the cities – comprising of the answers the cities gave to the 2008 Host City Application Questionnaire, reports prepared by the specialists within the group, and external studies commissioned by the IOC – against a set of criteria, which reflect the themes in the applicant questionnaire:

Government support and public opinion
General infrastructure, including telecommunications
Sports infrastructure
Olympic Village
Environmental conditions and impact
Experience from past sports events
General concept of the Games

The bid acceptance phase was developed as a result of the IOC reforms passed in December 1999, which called for a new host city election process. This new process was developed by the IOC administration and confirmed by the IOC Executive Board in February 2000. Within this new procedure, the bid acceptance phase was designed to allow the IOC to study the cities’ organizational capacities to host the Olympic Games. This initial review ensures those cities that do go forward are both adequately prepared to host the Games and able to conform to IOC policy regarding the organization of the Games. Those cities that do not go forward avoid the expenditure for a candidature phase.

Among the other innovations to the host city election process brought about by IOC reform are the enhanced powers of the IOC Executive Board to determine which candidates go before the Session for election, the increased responsibility of the respective NOCs throughout the candidature period, the application of the IOC Code of Ethics to the process, and the elimination of gifts and member visits to the candidate cities.

Once they sign an agreement to abide by the IOC candidacy process and Code of Ethics, the candidate cities will enter the candidacy phase with clean slates. None of the rankings of the bid acceptance procedure will carry over into the candidacy phase.

The Executive Board expressed its gratitude to all applicant cities and their NOCs. All of them must be commended for their work. The Executive Board is aware that the cities not selected will be disappointed. However, these cities should realize that the work they put into this process will provide a better foundation from which to bid for future major sporting events at the regional and world levels, and perhaps at a later stage, the Olympic Games.

The Executive Board also thanked the working group who analyzed the information on the applicant and those who supported the bid applicant review process. The Executive Board viewed the process as an exemplary implementation of the IOC reform.

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