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USOC mum on 2024 candidate cities; trumpets its SafeSport funding

June 10, 2014 Updated: June 10, 2014 at 6:55 pm
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The number and names of the U.S. cities under consideration for a 2024 Summer Olympics bid will remain uncertain for another few days.

But the U.S. Olympic Committee did put some money behind its SafeSport program.

The Colorado Springs-based organization's board of directors unanimously approved a $5 million, five-year budget to support the program, which concerns misconduct and provides training for clubs, coaches, athletes and parents to recognize, reduce and report misconduct including sexual abuse, bullying, hazing, harassment and other emotional and physical abuse.

"There was a vacuum there and we decide to fill that vacuum," USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said after Tuesday's meeting in Boston. "We are incredibly excited that we are in position to lead this kind of effort."

The USOC will seek a minimum $10 million in additional private donations. The organization hopes to expand early next year to aid existing national governing bodies' own SafeSport programs.

The press briefing was dominated by the secret list of 2024 candidates. USOC chairman Larry Probst said the board had eliminated some cities, but was unwilling to name the two or three finalists.

He said the USOC was secretive during the process to avoid forcing candidates to raise money early.

"We need to take some time to communicate with them individually," Probst said. "We will have more information sometime in the next 10 days. We had a great discussion and we will move forward with some great cities."

The reported candidates are front-runners Boston and Los Angeles plus Dallas, San Francisco and Washington. The finalists will undergo further scrutiny before the USOC decides to place a bid before the mid-2015 deadline. The International Olympic Committee will decide in 2017.

If the USOC does not bid, the organization may develop a 2026 winter bid with Denver a possibility.

The USOC will not submit a last-minute 2022 winter bid despite having Stockholm, and recently Krakow, Poland, drop out.

The remaining cities are: Almaty, Kazahkstan; Beijing; Lviv, Ukraine; and Oslo, Norway.

The IOC executive board meets in Switzerland on July 7-9 to decide finalists. The host will be chosen in July 2015.

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