The IOC "is turning its sights to the Australian market and will look to entice Nine Entertainment Co. back to the negotiating table after the network pulled out of the race this year," according to Darren Davidson of THE AUSTRALIAN. After failing to generate high enough bids at the start of the year, the IOC "repackaged the Australian rights and is offering one deal encompassing" the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games in addition to the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games in South Korea. Nine "incurred a big loss on the London Olympics due to a persistently weak ad market." Nine is said "to be reluctant to the idea, but willing to listen." Ten "recently acquired the rights for the Sochi Games in Russia in February and is said to be interested." Kerry Stokes's Seven West Media "is considered the front-runner after being disappointed at losing London 2012 to Nine" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 8/2).
Int'l Association of Athletics Federations President Lamine Diack has "harshly criticized" the Istanbul 2020 Olympic bid. Diack: "They cannot present themselves as an Olympic host site if they are not capable of controlling their athletes." Istanbul is competing to host the 2020 Summer Games with Tokyo and Madrid, with the decision to be announced by the IOC in Buenos Aires on Sept. 7. More than 30 Turkish athletes "have been caught doping in the past year" (DPA, 7/31). ... Former Brazilian footballer Pele said that Madrid "meets the conditions of an Olympic city." Pele: "Madrid without a doubt has the conditions to host the Olympics, and this is good because I like the city a lot" (EFE, 7/31). ... A government source said that Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida plans to attend a session of the IOC in Buenos Aires on Sept. 7, at which the host of the 2020 Summer Games "will be selected, to support Tokyo's bid to stage the event." Other members of the Cabinet, including PM Shinzo Abe, "are expected to attend the session in a last-ditch effort to bring the quadrennial event to the Japanese capital" (GLOBAL TIMES, 7/31).