USOC Waits for New Bidding 'Rules of Engagement'

(ATR) No decisions over negotiating for a 2028 Games will be made until the new playing field is understood.

(ATR) The United States Olympic Committee says its next presentation to the IOC is "certainly more complicated," given the specter of a potential dual Olympics award.

USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun briefed the media today after the body’s quarterly board meeting, where the issue of the looming IOC vote was discussed. Implementing new SafeSport policies with national governing bodies, IOC TOP Sponsor changes, and PyeongChang 2018 preparations were the other major topics discussed.

Blackmun told reporters the USOC remains "committed to bringing the Games back to the United States" and looks forward to a new round of IOC discussions. Until the membership votes on a fleshed out 2024/28 proposal, Blackmun refused to speculate about any future talks. Still, he admitted the USOC would be "pleased" with a dual award that would allow both Los Angeles and Paris to host the Games.

"There are going to be a lot of questions if they go forward with a dual award so we’re going to make sure we understand what the rule of engagements are and take a close look at it," Blackmun said to Around the Rings.

"I think [July’s presentation is] certainly more complicated than it would have been if we weren’t looking at a different approach, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing."

There have been no concrete discussions with LA 2024 stakeholders on if venues and other properties would be available for a 2028 Games, Blackmun said. Until a clear sense of how the final months of the 2024 bid race will be run, those discussions will not take place. Previously, LA City Council President Herb Wesson told ATR that the council would have to approve any 2028 decision.

Blackmun said that the USOC is prepared to take a "list of questions" to the IOC in July, after which any necessary negotiations would begin.

PyeongChang Delegation Stable

Expect the United States contingent at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympics to be similarly sized to previous Games.

Blackmun said the delegation headed to South Korea is "not materially different than prior delegations in scope and size." The United States sent 230 athletes to the Sochi 2014 Olympics.

Preparations for sending Team USA to Asia remain ongoing, but expect less sponsor activation than in previous Games. Even with a reduced scale, challenges remain in the final preparations.

"Having appropriate accommodations and donors, that’s the one thing that we’re still trying to finalize," Blackmun said.

USOC Supports UCLA Sanctioning

The USOC says it is in favor of any appropriate sanctions placed on the UCLA anti-doping laboratory in California, but would need more time to study the situation.

Blackmun told reporters that the decision to partially suspend the lab happened in the middle of the quarterly board meeting.

"We’re completely in favor of strict compliance with the code and if to the extent any lab is non-compliant we support the direction WADA has taken," Blackmun added.

Written by Aaron Bauer

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