IOC drops Turkey's Erzurum from 2026 Olympic bid race

IOC drops Turkey's Erzurum from 2026 Olympic bid race

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has dropped the Turkish city of Erzurum from a 2026 Winter Olympic bidding contest which had previously seen other possible bids fail.

Erzurum had too little experience hosting winter sports and needed too much investment on venues, an International Olympic Committee panel said.

Three 2026 bids will now be proposed for approval as candidates by the full IOC membership next week in Buenos Aires. They are: Calgary, Canada; Stockholm, Sweden; and the combined Italian bid of Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo. Calgary could yet be toppled, though, by a public vote in November.

The 2026 vote is scheduled next September at an IOC meeting which likely must be moved from its intended venue, Milan.

The remaining field includes two former Winter Olympic hosts: Calgary in 1988 and Cortina in 1956.

The three-candidate proposal by the IOC's executive board followed recommendations by a working group led by vice president Juan-Antonio Samaranch Jr.

Samaranch said telecommunications, transport and airports were "a little challenging" for Erzurum, a city in eastern Turkey which had also considered using facilities and venues in Russia.

"They have all our respect and we will continue to talk to them," the USA Today cited the IOC official as saying.