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Olympics: Crisis 'should not affect Madrid 2020 bid'

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The head of the International Olympic Committee's Evaluation Commission Craig Reedie said he is happy with the guarantees given by the Madrid 2020 bid team that the Spanish economy could support hosting the Olympics.

The Spanish capital is making its third consecutive bid for the Games despite the ongoing financial crisis affecting the country and Reedie said the economy shouldn't be a burden to the Madrid bid.

"We have received a very clear statement from the bid committee that they believe the economy has stabilised and will improve," he said at a press conference on the fourth and final day of the Evaluation Committee's visit to Madrid.

"We are well aware of the position of the economy and we are grateful for the honesty and openness of the bid team on that issue."

Meanwhile, IOC Executive Director Gilbert Felli said the infrastructure already in place means Madrid's modest budget for the Games workable.

With 28 of the proposed 35 venues already built the bid team estimate that just 1.5bn euros ($1.936bn , £1.281bn) remains to be invested.

"We believe the numbers proposed are feasible," said Felli.

"We recognise what has been spent for years on roads, airports, transport and sports venues. This infrastructure has already been built and that is why the crisis now shouldn't effect the Madrid bid too much."

Reedie also gave the bid a boost by stressing the IOC's policy to have more realistic budgets for Games in the future.

"The Games simply cannot get more expensive every single time," he said whilst also welcoming the overwhelming government and public support the bid had received.

A survey carried out by the IOC found that 81% of Spaniards supported the bid and the 1.5bn euros left to be invested in infrastructure has already been guaranteed by national, regional and local government.

"There has been a very clear demonstration of public support and without that I question whether any bid can go ahead."

"We have witnessed strong support from all three levels of government as was shown by the visit of Prime Minister (Mariano) Rajoy and other government members."

And Reedie also said that his Commission had been given assurances that a new law proposed by the Spanish government to tackle doping in sport would be passed by the time a final decision is taken on which city will host the games on September 7.

"The World Anti-Doping Agency are familiar with terms of the new law and we were promised that law will be passed by no later than June this year."

Having already conducted their inspection in Tokyo, the Evaluation Commission will travel to Istanbul next week before publishing their reports on all three candidate cities to IOC members in Lausanne on July 3.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130321/olympics-crisis-should-not-affect-madrid-2020-bid