Exclusive: Paris Mayor set to attend SportAccord Convention to meet IOC members after being banned from Lillehammer 2016
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo is due to have a belated opportunity to woo voters in the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic race when she attends next week’s SportAccord Convention in Lausanne.
Only 23 voting International Olympic Committee (IOC) members are currently due to attend, however, with four of these set to not even cast a vote.
Hidalgo was forced to cancel a proposed visit to Lillehammer in February to attend the Winter Youth Olympic Games at short notice after being warned she would have been in breach of strict IOC rules on bidding.
Paris, along with its rivals Budapest, Los Angeles and Rome, received letters from the IOC ordering them not to send representatives to the Norwegian town.
Hidalgo still planned to travel to Norway following a personal invitation from Lillehammer Mayor Espen Johnsen but was forced to cancel following more pressure, meaning meetings with several IOC members had to be scrapped at short notice.
IOC President Thomas Bach denied any such ban existed when asked about it by insidethegames, despite numerous members and officials confirming that the cities had been warned to stay away.
There should be no such problems for the SportAccord Convention, due to begin at the SwissTech Convention Center on Sunday (April 17), however, because it is one of the official events in which bid delegations are permitted.
Each city is allowed a maximum of 10 delegates for the week-long event, the IOC have confirmed to insidethegames.
Hidalgo is named on an official delegates list published by organisers to lead a Parisian delegation currently consisting of seven individuals.
Paris’ co-bid chairman and chief executive are all attending but under the patronage of the International Federations they represent.
Bernard Lapasset is listed as attending as President of World Rugby and Tony Estanguet is down to attend as a vice-president of the International Canoe Federation.
Etienne Thobois, the chief executive, meanwhile, is down on the delegate list as a representative of the Badminton World Federation, where he is chairman of their IOC and International Relations Committee.
Paris will be the only city represented at SportAccord Convention by its Mayor.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, present at the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) General Assembly in Washington D.C last November. cannot be in Lausanne but is expected to attend next year.
Rome does not currently have a Mayor after Ignazio Marino stood down last October following an expenses scandal.
Budapest Mayor István Tarlós is not named on the latest list.
All three cities are sending strong delegations headed by their respective bid leaders, however: Casey Wasserman for Los Angeles, Balázs Fürjes for Budapest and Luca Di Montezemolo for Rome.
Several consultants and National Olympic Committee officials representing each candidate are also due to be present.
The SportAccord Convention is billed as the premier meeting place of the international sporting community, with the event seeking to re-align itself following the unrest after former President Marius Vizer resigned last year little more than a month after he fiercely criticised Bach and the IOC at the SportAccord General Assembly.
According to the current list, just 23 of the 91 IOC members are due to attend, however, in comparison with the 75 reportedly present at some stage during Lillehammer 2016.
This includes three – Estanguet, Italy’s Mario Pescante and United States’ Angela Ruggiero – who will not be eligible to vote unless or until their country is eliminated.
Bach is also due to attend but, as IOC President, he traditionally does not cast a vote.
He is, however, expected to play a key role in influencing which city is awarded the 2024 Games.
As well as Bach, other major figures due to be present include Kuwait’s ANOC President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahah Al-Sabah and all four IOC vice-presidents, Australia’s John Coates, China’s Yu Zaiqing, Morocco’s Nawal El Moutawakel and Britain’s World Anti-Doping Agency chief Sir Craig Reedie.
Others will also be present who may have been elected members by the time of the decisive IOC Session in Lima in 2017 where a final choice is due to be made.
- By Nick Butler
- Republished with permission insidethegames.biz