5:10 PM EDT, August 1, 2011
In the International Olympic Committee's curious way of doing business, the cart goes before the horse.
So the United States Olympic Committee had to file a letter saying it had met a condition of bidding for the 2020 Olympic Games to keep its options open in the still unlikely event the U.S. does bid.
The filing was a statement of compliance with the rules of the World Anti-Doping Agency and the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Bids are not due until Sept. 1.
The compliance statement was due Saturday. It asked for the name of a bid city, but the USOC left that blank.
Rome, Tokyo and Madrid have announced they are bidding for 2020. Istanbul also is expected to bid. Doha, Qatar and a South African city could join the field. The IOC will pick the winner in 2013.
There already is fierce opposition to a Madrid candidacy because of the deep recession in Spain.
Madrid lost to Rio de Janeiro 66-32 in the final round of IOC voting for the 2016 Summer Games, while Tokyo went out in the second round. Doha was one of three candidates cut 15 months before the 2016 finals.
Istanbul was eliminated early four straight times, from the 2000 bidding through the 2012 contest.
"At this point our focus is on completing our financial deal with the IOC, and we are not currently considering a 2020 bid," USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky said Monday.
Since 2006, the USOC has been under pressure to take a smaller share of the IOC's global sponsorship revenues and U.S. broadcast rights. Under the current agreements, which are open-ended, the USOC gets 12.75 percent of the U.S. television rights and 20 percent of the global sponsorship.
The issue has became such a flashpoint that it helped undermine the New York bid for the 2012 Olympics and the Chicago bid for 2016.
Negotiations on the issue are ongoing. Should it be resolved before the next USOC board meeting in late August, the idea of a 2020 bid could get board approval in time to meet the IOC deadline.
It would have seemed more sensible to have the compliance statement come with each national Olympic committee's candidature filing, but the IOC works in mysterious ways.
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