Two separate reports today from China Daily Newspaper and the BBC say that top Chinese sports officials were not aware of a Harbin 2010 Olympic bid, quoting them as saying “we just heard the news from the media”. And an official from the Chinese Olympic Committee said he knew nothing about the bid.
According to sports officials no official bid can be made until the Chinese Cabinet approves the plans.
This follows widespread reports yesterday that Harbin has already submitted an application, based on news published on the International Olympic Committee’s Web site this week.
GamesBids.com reported on Harbin’s 2010 bid earlier this month after a Toronto Star reporter’s interview with IOC President Jacques Rogge. During the interview Rogge said that he had an application from Harbin sitting on his desk.
Normally bids would require the National Olympic Committee’s approval and recommendation.
The BBC reports that according to an official of the Sports Bureau of Heilongjiang province, of which Harbin is the capital, the Chinese Cabinet will meet Wednesday to consider costs and other issues.
GamesBids.com has learned that on January 28 the IOC apparently registered Internet domain names on behalf of Harbin’s bid that could be used for a future Web site and email addresses. Normally bid committees are responsible for all of their own marketing and communication and there is no record of the IOC registering domain names for bids in the past.
The deadline for applications to host the 2010 Games is February 4 and there are now six other cities in the running.
So far, there is no Chinese confirmation of Harbin’s 2010 bid.