Spanish Olympic Committee President Presents Madrid's Case For 2020 Olympic Bid
Spain Olympic Committee (COE) President Alejandro Blanco spoke Thursday in Bogotá, Colombia, "where he said the Madrid 2020 bid 'is not a project, but an obsession,'" according to the EFE. Blanco, addressing a forum of the Colombian Olympic Committee, said, "First, it's a dream that becomes an idea, then an idea that becomes a project, and now, it's an obsession." Blanco "trusts that at the IOC session Sept. 7 in Buenos Aires, Madrid will be elected to host the 2020 Olympics in a competition with Istanbul and Tokyo." He said Madrid is solid not only in the financial aspect, but also because the people would value and support the Olympics. Blanco pointed out that 80% of the necessary installations for the Olympics are already prepared. He referenced polls from recent months showing that 76% of Madrid residents and 81% of its residents younger than 35 support the 2020 Olympics taking place in the Spanish capital (EFE, 5/9).
FIGHTING THE WAR: The EFE also reported Blanco assured that doping "is a very difficult war to win," but explained that the country can advance by "winning small battles." Blanco reminded the forum that the COE administered 11,000 drug tests in the past year. He highlighted that only 1.2% of the tests yielded positive results, meaning 98.8% "of the Spanish athletes are clean." Blanco confirmed that one way to combat doping is to make penalties harsher for everyone involved in doping cases, including those who sell, make and consume the drugs. Blanco: "We have to have a conscience that we cannot relax in the fight against doping. It can't be that one person can do so much harm to sport and to health, and laugh at the whole world." Referring to Operation Puerto, it seemed to Blanco "a true embarrassment that someone (referring to Eufemiano Fuentes) had made a business with doping" (EFE, 5/9).