Madrid ‘satisfied with ‘budget Olympics’ review

Madrid 'satisfied with 'budget Olympics' review
Third time lucky? Spanish Crown Prince Felipe (C) at an official dinner with International Olympics Committee officials at the Royal Palace in Madrid in March. File photo: Juanjo Martin/Pool/AFP
The team in charge of Madrid's bid for the 2020 Olympic Games said they were 'very satisfied' with the International Olympic Committee Evaluation Commission's (IOCEC) report on how the Spanish capital's third consecutive bid to host the Games is shaping up.

Reports from the IOCEC's visit to Madrid and the other two candidate cities, Tokyo and Istanbul, were released on Tuesday and although, marks were not given to each city, the Madrid team believe they are on the right track.

"We are happy and satisfied," Madrid mayor Ana Botella said at a press conference on Tuesday.

"The work of the bid has been seen by the IOCEC in a positive way."

Should Madrid be trying to host the Olympics in 2020? Read The Local's opinion piece here.

The main concern for Madrid's bid is the current state of the Spanish economy which has suffered from a double-dip recession.

However, with the vast majority of the proposed venues for the Games and necessary transport infrastructure in place, the IOCEC stated that a modest budget of €2.37 billion ($3.10 billion, £2.01 billion) is feasible.

"The report recognizes how the bid has improved with respect to the previous ones and the previous investment in infrastructure. It is clear that the investment that remains is perfectly acceptable," added Botella.

One area of concern for the IOCEC was however the extremely low figure of just $19 million attributed to security for the Games.

However, chief executive of the bid Victor Sanchez confirmed that any additional costs to ensure the safety of the Games would be covered by the government.

President of the bid, Alejandro Blanco, meanwhile also played down concerns that Spain's poor record when it came to the fight against doping in sport could damage Madrid's chances.

The decision by the judge in the recently concluded Operation Puerto trial to not release over 200 bags of blood belonging to former clients of the disgraced doctor Eufemiano Fuentes has drawn widespread criticism.

However, Blanco believes the passing of a new anti-doping law by the Spanish parliament earlier this month to bring the national legislation into line with the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) code signals Spain's intent to get tough on doping.

"The IOC have been left completely satisfied with this new law.   

"We cannot judge how clean Spanish sport is on this operation.

"We need to forget the past. The new law starts a new path and it is totally compliant with the WADA code."

The bid teams for each city will make a technical presentation to the 100+ IOC members at a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, next week.

A final decision on who will host the Games in eight years time will be made in Buenos Aires on September 7.

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