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Gov's woes likely won't hurt Olympics bid

Dec. 11, 2008 at 4:28 PM   |   Comments

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's legal problems will probably not hurt Chicago's 2016 Summer Olympics bid, an International Olympic Committee official said.

"It's very sad if the charges are proved, but I don't think it will affect the Chicago bid one way or another," IOC executive board member Richard Carrion told the Chicago Tribune.

"I have not seen (Blagojevich) involved in the campaign at all," Carrion said.

Blagojevich's one significant contribution, announced last year just before the U.S. Olympic Committee chose Chicago over Los Angeles as the U.S. host-city candidate, was a $150 million state pledge as part of $1.15 billion in financial guarantees the bid is offering, the Tribune said.

The pledge has not been backed by state legislation, the newspaper said.

Asked about the fate of the $150 million, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley said, "Well, we don't know that yet."

Before naming Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo as finalists June 4, the IOC noted the Chicago guarantee did not conform to terms both the IOC's Olympic Charter and host-city contract require.

The IOC is scheduled to announce the selection of the host city Oct. 2, 2009, in Copenhagen, Denmark.

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