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IOC to assess double Olympic Games selection, launches major gender equality project

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has formed a working group to assess changes to the candidature process for the Olympic Games that could see both Los Angeles and Paris achieve success in September, while it has also unveiled details of a major gender equality project for the global sporting movement.

IOC president Thomas Bach has dropped repeated hints in recent weeks over reforms to the Olympic bidding process, with the 2024 summer Games contest having seen Budapest, Rome, Boston and Hamburg all fall by the wayside.

This has left just Los Angeles and Paris in contention for a vote at the IOC Session on September 13 in Lima, Peru. Currently only the 2024 Games destination is scheduled to be decided, but the prospect of both 2024 and 2028 being allocated has been raised with Bach (pictured) this month stating that the current status quo creates “too many losers”.

Cities currently bid over a two-year period, submitting their candidacies in three parts and in the process spending tens of millions of dollars in the hope of securing the world's biggest multi-sport event. “All the options are on the table, and this includes also the '24-'28 procedure and vote,” Bach said today (Friday) when announcing a working group to study changing the candidate process.

The IOC Executive Board has requested that its four vice-presidents “explore changes” in Olympic bidding and report back in July. “We have two excellent candidates (for 2024) from two major Olympic countries,” Bach added at a press conference. “This is a position you like to be in.”

The four-man working group will make proposals to the IOC Board and full membership. They are set to meet from July 9-12 in Lausanne, Switzerland, where Los Angeles and Paris will make formal presentations. The Olympic Charter currently states that host cities must be selected seven years in advance.

Bach said: “You must always have room for interpretation to adapt to changing times. The charter is flexible enough also in this respect.”

Meanwhile, Bach has said the IOC is taking a leadership role in sport with the formation of the Gender Equality Review Project. The scheme is a joint initiative of the IOC’s Women in Sport and Athletes’ Commissions, and aims to raise continued awareness of the importance of gender equality within the Olympic Movement, share best practices and present initiatives to further advance gender equality both on and off the field of play.

Five themes will be assessed – Sport; Portrayal; Funding; Governance; and Human Resources. The work will be conducted by a working group chaired by IOC member and president of the International Triathlon Union, Marisol Casado, and comprising IOC members and National Olympic Committee and summer and winter international federation representatives.

The Gender Equality Project Working Group will develop recommendations and guidelines, and report its findings to the IOC’s Women in Sport and Athletes’ Commissions, with the final recommendations presented to the IOC Executive Board later this year.

“The IOC is taking a leadership role in the world of sport to push gender equality globally and effect real change,” Bach said. “The outcomes from this Gender Equality Review Project will benefit the IOC, all International Sports Federations and National Olympic Committees, as well as all the athletes of the Olympic Games. It will also be a further tangible outcome of Olympic Agenda 2020.”

Angela Ruggiero, chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, added: “We believe the outcome of this project will fundamentally advance the position of women in sport, and ultimately, lead to a stronger Olympic Movement.”