India not Bidding for 2024 Olympics, Confirms IOC President Bach

April 27, 2015

By Christian Radnedge

Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), has cooled talk of an Indian bid for the 2024 Games saying it is “too early” for the country to think of hosting the event.

The IOC chief was in the country meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the state of sport in India and its future development in the Olympic sphere, having had their suspension for alleged corruption reversed in 2014.

There were reports earlier this month that India was preparing to enter the race to host the 2024 Games in Ahmedabad or Delhi, but Bach said these stories were surprising.

“A year after returning from Olympic suspension, the IOA still needs to find its feet” he said. “We are surprised with the speculation about the Olympic bid. It’s too quick now for India to host the Olympics in 2024.

“For now India needs to build its athletes, find unity among themselves so that you can field a strong team at the Rio Olympics.”

However, the German did not rule out the possibility that a first Olympic Games in India could be hosted at some point.

“PM Modi is also seriously looking into India’s Olympic candidature in the future,” Bach added. “But he wants India to be well prepared. From now to September, it would be difficult to get everything ready in time.

“But both the IOC and PM will be in contact about this in the future.”

India’s Olympic history is not wholly glorious for the world’s second most populous country. Their only individual gold medal came at the 2008 Games in Beijing when Abhinav Bindra won the men’s 10m air rifle shooting event.

The most significant multi-sport event held in India in recent times was the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

However the event was beset with construction and infrastructure problems, as well as water quality issues and – once again – allegations of corruption.

With allegations behind them now and Bach’s public backing, perhaps begins a new era for Indian sport.

The applicant city phase for the 2024 Games begins in September. So far Boston, Rome, Hamburg, and Paris have all announced their intention to bid.

The official decision will be taken by the IOC at their 130th Session in Lima, Peru in 2017.

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