[Editor’s note: Please read correction to this article posted here. Permission for Salzburg to release its bid book was not withdrawn]
While giving permission for Vancouver to release its bid book Tuesday, reports say the International Olympic Committee (IOC) halted the planned release of Salzburg’s bid book for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
Salzburg officials were allowed to brief reporters on the financial aspects of the bid, but had to prevent the bid books from being taken from a room at a Salzburg hotel. They also had to put away dozens of compact discs produced for reporters to explain the bid.
Robert Kaspar, secretary-director for Salzburg 2010, said the bid committee was surprised when they received the fax from the IOC withdrawing permission to release the complete bid books. “We did get them to allow us to give out the financial details, but we could not let the rest of the books out”, he said.
He did not explain why the IOC changed its mind, but suggested it was not a big deal.
But according to John Furlong, president of Vancouver’s 2010 Bid Corp., the only conclusion he could reach was that there was something in the Salzburg documents that concerned the IOC. The IOC’s purpose in timing the release of the bid books is to ensure all aspects of the bid are complete. He said, “it would seem if there is something wrong, it would be in that area”.
He added, “the bid books are the plan, but the plan is defended by the backing documentation. I am a bit surprised that the IOC has held back some of the documents. That was the worry that every bid city had, to make sure that all the backup materials were all fully in place”.
The timing of the release of the bid book is crucial because it sets in motion the final phase of the Olympic bidding process. Once they are given approval, all three candidate cities, Vancouver, Salzburg and Pyeongchang, can start international campaigns to convince IOC members to vote for them on July 2 in Prague.
There has been no indication when Pyeongchang will release its bid book.
Meanwhile, according to a press release from the Vancouver bid committee, its bid book, including guarantee files, will be made public in Vancouver shortly. GamesBids.com will keep you updated.