GamesBids.com presents the eighth annual Top Ten list of Olympic Bid Stories for 2015. These stories impacted the course of Olympic host city bids, or the Olympic bid process, and formed interesting plot lines and story arcs for the year. We’ll run them down from 10th to 1st as the year ends – click on the links for details.
Top Olympic Bid Stories of 2015: #8 – FIFA and Doping Scandals Sour Olympic Brand
While not directly related to the Olympic bid process, scandal rocked the world of international sport in 2015 that had impacts on bids for the the Olympic Games.
The ongoing corruption probe into FIFA, the organization that oversees international football, has decimated the group’s leadership – many of whom are now under criminal investigation. Some of the charges are related to recent bids for the FIFA World Cup
Though the International Olympic Committee (IOC) went through its own corruption scandal in 1998, it has worked hard to successfully move past its formerly tarnished reputation. But the new charges against FIFA have renewed general distrust of sport leadership and the organization of major events – including the Olympics.
Later in the year a major doping scandal rocked the international athletics governing body IAAF and further accusations charged Russia sport leadership with a doping conspiracy that had impacts on the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, and beyond.
Together these major news stories diminished the Olympic brand and weakened support behind bids to host the Games.
Hamburg’s narrow loss in a referendum in November that ended Germany’s 2024 Olympic bid can be partially blamed on the scandals, and Budapest’s possible referendum in 2016 could hinge on restoring voters’ faith in sport.
A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. Robert Livingstone is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians.