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IOC officials dispute claim they put extravagant demands on bid city

IOC officials dispute claim they put extravagant demands on bid city

In the wake of news reports out of Norway last week, Olympic officials have disputed claims that they placed undue demands on Oslo during the bidding process for the 2022 Winter Games.

The capital city has withdrawn from contention, leaving only Beijing and Almaty, Kazakhstan, in the running.

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After Norwegian Finance Minister Siv Jensen claimed the International Olympic Committee had acted pompously, a tabloid in that country published a list of what it said were IOC stipulations for the candidate city. The purported demands included dedicated traffic lanes for Olympic officials and a meeting with the king of Norway.

IOC spokesman Mark Adams said the items were clearly marked as suggestions.

Traffic lanes, he said, are only requested for congested areas and would also be used by athletes, sports officials and members of the media. As for the royal meeting, Adams said that heads of state traditionally preside over the opening ceremony and have always held a reception at that time.

The spokesman did not specifically address other reported issues, including the provision of local cellphones with subscriptions for IOC members and extra-late hours at hotel bars.

The IOC is made up of unpaid volunteers and pays for its own accommodations, he said, adding that the committee plans to contribute more than $880 million to defray costs for the 2022 Games.

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