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Swiss Olympic bidders disappointed by poor report card

There was disappointment for those backing the Zurich-Graubunden Olympic bid

(Keystone)

The two potential Swiss bidders for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games have expressed enormous disappointment at the fact that the Swiss Olympic Association (SOA) deemed their projects not yet fit for serious consideration.

On Wednesday both teams talked of the great waste of money that revamping their proposals would end up being, given that the losing co-bidder will ultimately have invested in vain.

At a meeting on Tuesday of the association's executive committee, it was declared that neither the Bern-Montreux, nor the Zurich-Graubünden, proposal reached the international standards necessary for such a high calibre event.

"Not only did the Association insinuate that those behind the bids did a poor job," said Jean-Pierre Seppey, head of the Bern-Montreux team, "But they also tried to give the impression of Switzerland being a country that decides not to decide... while in fact it had already decided to make a decision afterall."

Klaus Huber, the co-president of the Zurich-Graubünden bid, expressed skepticism at calls for a reduction of the number of Olympic sites being put forward.

Adding to the frustration on behalf of the Bern-Montreux bid is the fact that their budget of SFr900,000, for the initial bidding phase, will now need topping up.

Sponsors will have to be asked to provide a further SFr500,000 to help boost the project during the six-month extension period granted by the SOA.

Sports experts said that as they currently stand, the Lausanne-based International Olympic Committee (IOC) would flatly reject both proposals.

The two potential bidders have until the end of June 2001 to polish their proposals. Three months later Switzerland's Sports Parliament will determine which of the two should be allowed to go ahead with its plan.

The winning Swiss candidate would then be presented to the IOC in January 2002, and only in the summer of 2003 would the IOC declare the final victor in the race to host the Games seven years later.

swissinfo with agencies



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