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Madrid: We never intended to spy on Rio

Madrid: We never intended to spy on Rio

Madrid's 2016 Olympics bid said Tuesday that accusations it spied on a rival candidate had been blown out of proportion.
The International Olympic Committee is evaluating the Spanish capital's bid for the Summer Games this week after having already visited Chicago, Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro.
Rio de Janeiro organizers stripped Simon Walsh, a British-based freelance journalist who also works on Madrid's bid, of his credentials after they learned he had been accredited through Efe, the Spanish-state run news agency.
Rio organizers were reportedly mulling over whether to report Madrid to the IOC's ethics commission.
"(We) weren't spying, weren't trying to unveil secrets, (we) just wanted to see how this thing works so we could organize the best possible one for the media (here)," said Malcolm Munro, Madrid's international media director. "The whole thing has got out of proportion, really."
Munro said the whole event was a misunderstanding with Madrid making a mistake not to have been transparent from the start.
Although he accepted that the situation could have handled better, Munro didn't believe Rio would report Madrid to the IOC.
"I think this thing is quite commonplace and nobody intends to underhand," Munro said. Madrid would welcome any media specialists working with rival bids, he added.
The IOC's 13-member team arrived on Monday for the five-day tour. It will select the winner with a vote at Copenhagen on Oct. 2.
In Brazil, a spokesman for Rio's bid committee said officials discovered Walsh was falsely credentialed for Efe just moments before he was to be included in a small group of foreign journalists who met Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Thursday evening.
"If he had registered himself as a consultant for Madrid, he would have been accepted _ it's normal," said the Rio spokesman, who spoke Tuesday on condition of anonymity as he wasn't authorized to discuss the case.
A local Efe correspondent alerted Rio officials that Walsh was not with the agency, the spokesman said.
Walsh's credentials were officially removed Friday morning.
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Associated Press writer Bradley Brooks contributed to this report from Rio de Janeiro.


Updated : 2021-01-28 23:23 GMT+08:00