IOC demand guarantees for Swedish 2026 Olympic bid

Lausanne (AFP) –


The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said Wednesday it had asked Stockholm for clarifications over financial backing for its bid to stage the 2026 Winter Olympics.

Just days before the IOC votes on Monday on whether to award the Games to Stockholm/Are or rival Italian bid Milan/Cortina d'Ampezzo, the IOC wants more information from the Swedish bid, according to Christophe Dubi, the IOC's sports director.

"We received a number of non-binding letters of intent and guarantees, these do not represent binding commitments and therefore put Olympic village delivery at risk," said a letter that the IOC sent to the Stockholm bid on June 14 and seen here by AFP.

A spokesperson for the Stockholm bid told AFP the exchange of letters was nothing out of the ordinary, saying: "We have an ongoing, positive and constructive dialogue with the IOC -- both in mails and in letters."

Dubi said the exchanges concerned improving the bids after the IOC's Evaluation Commission reports released on May 24 identified flaws.

"As usual, it is about fine-tuning," he said.

Later Wednesday, Stockholm 2026 bid chief Richard Brisius, downplayed the significance of the IOC's request.

He told AFP: "There were matters that had to be clarified and resolved and that's pretty normal in the process. We are on solid ground and we are very happy where we stand."

Brisius added: "It's just a question of clarification.

"We have worked very hard for two years and then the government came out to give their support in the beginning of April before the deadline, we are extremely satisfied."

With budgets of around 1.5 billion dollars (1.3 billion euros) the two bids are 20 percent lower that the bids for the 2018 and 2022 Games, according to the commission reports.