On the Scene: IOC Launches Talks with LA and Paris for 2024, 2028 Olympics

(ATR) IOC president Thomas Bach says discussions have started with the two bids. Mark Bisson reports from Lausanne

(ATR) IOC president Thomas Bach says discussions have started with the two bids.

Speaking to reporters in Lausanne, Bach said: "We had some informal talks yesterday with the two mayors over dinner and very brief talks this morning.

"We will now contact the bid leaders and make this kind of sondage to see then how we can best arrive to this tripartite agreement.

"This procedure will start tomorrow or the day after tomorrow because we want to have this ready right in time before Lima. We do not want to arrive in Lima and still have to negotiate and still have uncertainty."

On Tuesday, the IOC voted on a proposal for a double allocation of the 2024 and 2028 Games to LA and Paris subject to a tripartite agreement being reached before the Lima Session in September. Bach said he hopes a deal can be struck in August.

Bach said the IOC administration will initiate talks rather than the panel of four vice presidents who were previously charged with developing a mechanism to secure the cities for the two Games.

"The reaction I had from the two mayors… I’m pretty optimistic," Bach told a small group of reporters at the Swisstech Convention Center, venue for the IOC Extraordinary Session yesterday.

"The negotiations will now start on the level of the administration with the bid leaders and then the IOC Executive Board," he added.

For LA, bid chair Casey Wasserman and CEO Gene Sykes will play crucial roles in negotiations with the IOC. For Paris, co-leaders Tony Estanguet and Bernard Lapasset and CEO Etienne Thobois are the key figures.

Paris is regarded as the favorite to be awarded the 2024 Games due to problems guaranteeing land for its Olympic Village for the later edition, with LA expected to accept the 2028 Olympics – likely with a package of incentives.

Bach refused to be drawn on how the Olympics might be split.

"People say many things. We will make sure that both cities will be treated on a equal level. This is why we will approach them both," he said.

"And then we will see how it develops, it is too early to tell. If we would know already we would not need to have these discussions about the tripartite agreement."

Reported by Mark Bisson

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