Spanish Sports Minister upbeat over 2020 Olympic bid

Madrid, July 4 (IANS) Spain's Minister for Sport, Culture and Education Jose Ignacio Wert said Thursday that he was very positive about the chances of the Spanish capital city of Madrid being chosen to host the 2020 Olympic Games.

Speaking the day after the Madrid 2020 team presented the bid to the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne, Wert reflected the satisfaction after what is generally agreed in Spain to have been a very successful presentation which has gone a long way to bringing the Olympics a step closer to Madrid, reports Xinhua.

"Madrid," said Wert, "has shown that it is the best candidate," in the competition against Istanbul and Tokyo. However, he warned that may not be enough to assure the success of the bid.

"The impressions are very good, but we should not start ringing the bells yet, as it is not always the best candidate that is chosen, although it has been made clear that Madrid is the best candidate," he said.

Wert highlighted the approval of the new Anti-Doping Law, which was passed in Spain last month as a positive factor in the bid, which should help outweigh the scandal of the Operation Puerto doping trial, which was held in Spain during the first part of the year and in which the accused were either found not guilty or given seemingly light punishments.

The Law was "an important piece to show that we want Madrid 2020," said Wert, adding the Law had been "valued" by the IOC.

Madrid was disappointed in previous bids for the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, losing to Rio de Janeiro in the battle for 2016 and knocked out of the voting ahead of Paris and eventual winner, London in its bid to host the 2012 Olympics.

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