Surely these could be held in a regulated way in which members could be able to get the benefits of seeing a bid first-hand without succumbing to bribery and skulduggery? The continued refusal to consider this hardly shows much trust in the membership from the IOC’s leaders, if nothing else.

Or they could be genuinely impartial in their Evaluation Commission feedback and employ independent experts to give their feedback. At present, reports remain so timid and reluctant to criticize that most IOC members do not bother reading them. This encourages voting for political reasons rather than on the merits of a bid.

Doing this would also help spot potential problems in advance: Brazil’s propensity to leaving everything to the last minute or how their economy was at risk of being turned upside down by an oil crisis, for instance.

“Democracy is the worst form of Government, except for all the others,” said former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

A similar point could be made here. The current bidding process is far from perfect and requires plenty of incremental changes, but any radically different approach would be worse not better.

By Nick Butler