Madrid’s Mayor has dismissed a claim made by his Deputy that the city is launching a bid for the 2036 Olympic and Paralympics – but has met with the head of the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) to discuss staging the Games in the future.
Cracks have appeared in the Madrid City Council after Deputy Mayor Begoña Villacís announced that the Spanish capital would bid for the 2036 Olympic Games – something Mayor José Luis Martínez-Almeida denied minutes later.
The administrative body is made up of a coalition between Martínez-Almeida’s People’s Party and the Citizens, which Villacís represents.
Villacís had claimed Madrid would imminently launch its fourth Olympic bid after failing in attempts to hold the 1972, 2012, 2016 and 2020 Games, but Mayor Martínez-Almeida was quick to pour cold water on the idea.
“Given the barrage of questions we are receiving, we clarify that from the Mayor’s Office we deny that Madrid is currently aspiring to present itself to the 2036 Olympic Games,” a statement from the Mayor’s Office said, per El Diario.
However, the President of COE Alejandro Blanco met yesterday with the Mayor to discuss steps needed to make Madrid a city capable of successfully bidding for and hosting the Games.
Both agreed that the bid must start from a broad social agreement and unity between the COE and the Madrid City Council.
The two organisations have also claimed that they will continue working to attract sporting events and technical seminars to open the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) eyes to the city’s potential.
For Madrid to be considered for future editions of the Olympics, a stadium with a running track and an area for the Athletes’ Village would need to be built – areas which have caused problems for previous bids.
The 2020 bid was considered to be hurt by Spain’s weak economy, as well as the Operación Puerto doping case, an ongoing Spanish Police investigation into the doping network of Eufemiano Fuentes.
On the April 30 2013, Fuentes was found guilty of supplying athletes with drugs and given a one-year suspended prison sentence.
The judge was requested to rule that the athletes’ blood bags be given to the Spanish Anti-Doping Agency, but instead ordered for them to be destroyed.
Fewer than five months later, Tokyo was awarded the 2020 Olympic and Paralympics at the IOC Session in Buenos Aires.
Madrid went out in the first round of voting, losing to Istanbul in a run-off.
A 2030 Winter Games bid from Barcelona and the Pyrenees in Spain is currently underway, but is struggling to gain broad political backing and could be complicated by the Catalan independence campaign.
Barcelona is the last and so far only Spanish city to stage the Olympic Games – doing so in 1992.