Despite the ongoing state-sponsored doping scandal that has had major sports events removed from Russia, its teams barred from competing at the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and a call by sports officials – including those from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to exclude the nation from future hosting opportunities – Russia is considering a bid to host the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Russian Olympic Committee Chief Alexander Zhukov revealed Friday that he’s thought about the possibility of the Games hosted again in Russia – 14 years after the Winter edition was staged in Sochi and 48 years after the Summer Games were held in Moscow.
He told the RIA Novosti news agency in Russia “It’s hard to say now, but why not? I think it’s completely possible to try.”
“It’s not just St. Petersburg. We also have Kazan which is a possibility. It’s also possible in Sochi.”
It was at the Sochi Olympics three years ago that Russians have been accused of planning a mass doping conspiracy and cover-up that has since cast a shadow over the entire Olympic movement.
Being investigated by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and lawyer Richard McLaren, it is believed Russian government entities set up a clandestine operation to tamper with samples provided by athletes competing at Sochi 2014, to make them appear ‘clean’. It is being considered one of the biggest scandals in sports history.
There have been calls to cancel Russia as the host of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Football Championship, though that’s unlikely to happen at this late stage. The 2017 Snowboard World Cup has already been removed from Kazan, and the 2017 Bobsleigh and Skeleton Championships have been cancelled in Sochi.
Budapest, Los Angeles and Paris are currently bidding for the 2024 Olympic Games, a race that is set to be decided in September. Applications to host the 2028 Games won’t likely be accepted by the IOC until 2019, with the final election to be held in 2021.
Australia’s South Queensland is also considering a bid for the 2028 Games with a feasibility study currently underway.