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Commercial partners to engage with Olympic bidders under new IOC move

The International Olympic Committee has revealed its latest enhancement to the bidding process for the Olympics, with candidate cities for the 2024 Games set to be afforded the opportunity to liaise with the IOC’s TOP Partners and rights-holding broadcasters.

The IOC Executive Board today (Friday) approved the new opportunity for candidate cities to get more “first-hand advice” from the IOC and Olympic Movement stakeholders, beginning with the 2024 candidature process.

The IOC said in a statement: “It was agreed that the IOC’s TOP Partners and Rights-Holding Broadcasters (RHBs) be allowed to provide their knowledge and expertise to candidate cities in an IOC-controlled environment. Based on Olympic Agenda 2020 Recommendation 1, the decision is aimed at reducing the costs associated with the candidature process while increasing flexibility and support to the candidate cities. The cities will benefit from the vast experience of the TOPs and RHBs, while preserving the integrity and neutrality of the candidature process.”

The move comes after the IOC unveiled a substantially revised bid process for the 2024 Olympics earlier this month. The IOC unveiled the changes at its general assembly, with the cut-down phase eliminated in a decision that is set to see bid cities battle it out over a two-year global campaign.

Under the IOC’s original scheme, contenders declaring by the September 15 deadline would have been listed as ‘applicant cities’ until April or May 2016. At that point, the IOC executive would have decided on a short list of official ‘candidate cities,’ with the possibility of cutting one or more from the field.

Under the new system, the cities will present their bids to the IOC in three separate stages. These will encompass overall vision from September to May 2016, legal guarantees and venue funding from May 2016 to December 2016, and games delivery and venue legacy from December 2016 to September 2017.

Budapest, Hamburg, Paris and Rome have already declared their candidacies for the 2024 Olympics, with the US Olympic Committee set to decide on a replacement for Boston and the likes of Baku and Toronto linked with late entries ahead of next month’s deadline.

Meanwhile, the IOC has also approved the approach to the implementation of Recommendation 40 of Olympic Agenda 2020 that will lead to all candidates for the IOC Athletes’ Commission elections at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro being from International Federations (IFs) and National Olympic Committees (NOCs) that have their own Athletes’ Commissions either already in place or, in the case of IFs, in the process of being established.

The IOC said: “Reinforcing the Olympic Agenda 2020 emphasis on the athletes being at the heart of the Olympic Movement, this approach ensures the strongest possible nominations to be made to the IOC Athletes’ Commission. It also allows the IOC to work in partnership with all NOCs and IFs to further strengthen the structures, role and representation of Athletes’ Commissions in their organisations.”

Finally, the IOC has hailed a landmark with Buenos Aires’ staging of the 2018 Youth Olympic Games set to be the first event in Olympic history to achieve gender equality on the sports programme, with 1,893 women and 1,893 men set to compete. Equality was achieved following a proposal by United World Wrestling (UWW) to reallocate 18 quota places from men to women, which was approved today by the IOC.