Anti-U.S. mood could hurt Los Angeles in bid for Games

Mon Aug 22, 2016 7:04am EDT
 
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By Karolos Grohmann

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - A bid by Los Angeles to host the 2024 Olympic Games could fall victim to anti-American sentiment brewing inside the International Olympic Committee, sources inside the IOC said.

The bid, which is competing against three European cities, risks an anti-U.S. protest vote by several IOC members angry over America's prominent role in pursuing doping allegations against Russian athletes, the sources said.

The IOC will decide on bids from Los Angeles, Paris, Rome and Budapest in September next year.

At least three non-Russian IOC members, speaking on condition of anonymity, said America's intervention into allegations of systematic Russian doping had marred the run-up to the Rio Games and tarnished the IOC brand.

"Of course the Los Angeles bid will face some consequences from this," an IOC member said.

The U.S. Department of Justice is probing allegations of Russian doping on U.S. soil, and the U.S. anti-doping agency (USADA) called for a total ban on Russians in Rio even as U.S. athletes with a history of positive drugs tests competed there.

None of the IOC members interviewed by Reuters could give an estimate of how many of the IOC's 98 members were thinking along the same lines. Elections for host cities can be decided by a handful of votes and be heavily influenced by politics.

Last year's vote for the 2022 winter Olympics was won by Beijing, with just four votes more than Kazakhstan's Almaty.   Continued...

 
Aug 9, 2016; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil;   Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti during a LA2024 Los Angeles bid press conference during the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games at Olympic Gold Course. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports