Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Madrid's 2016 bid goes ahead amid spy claims

Madrid's 2016 bid goes ahead amid spy claims

The International Olympic Committee began its evaluation of Madrid's 2016 bid Tuesday, while Spanish organizers said claims it spied on a rival candidate stemmed from a "misunderstanding."
Last Friday, Rio de Janeiro's bid organizers stripped a British freelance journalist involved with Madrid's Olympic campaign of his credentials during the tour of the Brazilian city after they learned he had been accredited through Spanish news agency Efe.
Rio's bid committee said officials discovered Simon 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.
"It was a misunderstanding between our communications department and Efe and the journalist who went," Madrid id leader Mercedes Coghen said Tuesday. "If we have to excuse ourselves in front of Rio and in front of (bid leader Carlos) Guzman, we will."
The IOC evaluation commission visited Rio last week after touring Chicago and Tokyo.
The Madrid presentation began with young field hockey player Monica Figar Coghen _ Mercedes Coghen's 12-year-old daughter _ reading a statement in English to the 13 members of the IOC panel regarding her hopes of Madrid securing the games.
Coghen saw no problem in allowing her daughter to be part of the presentation, saying it demonstrated the family spirit of the games.
"Certainly Monica transmitted the most emotion to the committee this morning," said Coghen, who won gold in field hockey at the 1992 Barcelona Games. "I'm happy that what I felt she was able to easily translate to them."
Earlier, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said he believed Madrid had "reasonable hope" of landing the games.
Organizers said the IOC panel was particularly interested in the Olympic Village site and other venues.
The IOC and Madrid organizers also went through other major aspects of the games, including transport, accommodation and the legacy that will be left behind.
Zapatero said Madrid's bid was strong due to unity at all governmental levels, noting that 77 percent of the infrastructure was ready to use. He also cited the success of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
"We are supported by the success of the 1992 Barcelona Games, which showed the world that Spain knows how to do these things," said Zapatero, who is expected to be in Copenhagen on Oct. 2 when the IOC selects the host city. "We have great capacity to show this to the world."
Spain is a leading tennis and cycling nation and an early favorite for football's 2010 World Cup after its European Championship triumph last summer broke a 44-year title drought and put it top of FIFA's world rankings.
"Spain is living a golden age of sport. We are the best in many sports, especially in football," said Zapatero, who is an avid Barcelona fan. "In many sports our athletes are shining as never before. And across the country there is a movement toward Olympic sports."
It is the second time Madrid is bidding for the Olympics after losing out to London for the 2012 games.
"We're in better shape thanks to the experience of the past four years, no doubt," deputy mayor Manuel Cobo said.
The IOC commission, chaired by Morocco's Nawal el Moutawakel, will tour venues on Wednesday and Thursday before the visit ends on Friday.


Updated : 2021-07-30 19:45 GMT+08:00