Switzerland's federal government said that it would contribute almost 1B Swiss francs ($1.02B) "toward Sion hosting the 2026 Winter Olympics," according to the AP. The Swiss Federal Council voted to "support the proposed candidature, which still requires approval from expected public votes." Federal councilor Guy Parmelin, who heads the department for sports, said that the project "would be withdrawn if the votes are lost." Sion was left as Swiss Olympic's best option for '26 after voters in the Graubuenden canton "rejected a proposal from St. Moritz and Davos for a second straight time." Swiss Olympic President Jürg Stahl said, "This decision allows us to pursue our work in order to make this candidacy even stronger and to convince the population" (AP, 10/18). SWISS INFO reported the Swiss government's 1B Swiss francs contribution would be used for "several funding areas." Some 8M Swiss francs ($8.15M) will go toward funding the bid itself, which is ongoing. A final vote on the host city by the IOC will take place in summer '19. Should Sion be successful, 827M Swiss francs ($842.7M) of federal funds would "help the organization of the Games." The organizers estimate the total projected costs at just under 2B Swiss francs ($2.04B). Federal funding would contribute toward the "adaptation of current facilities," while the government would also fund 20% of total security costs (SWISS INFO, 10/18).
Brazilian prosecutors charged former Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB) President Carlos Nuzman and five other people on Wednesday with corruption "based on an investigation of alleged bribery to have Rio de Janeiro host the 2016 Games." Nuzman, who was provisionally suspended by the IOC and arrested in Rio on Oct. 5, "was charged with racketeering, money laundering and violating currency laws." Former Rio de Janeiro State Governor Sérgio Cabral and former COB Dir Leonardo Gryner also "were charged with corruption" in connection with a $2M payment to guarantee votes for Rio (REUTERS, 10/18).
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics Organizing Committee announced details of the 62 municipalities across Japan which have volunteered to participate in its Operation "BATON" sustainability program. BATON (Building Athletes' village with Timber Of the Nation) is an initiative to construct the Village Plaza for the Tokyo Games using timber produced in the participating municipalities (Tokyo 2020).
The Russian Olympic Committee spent over 1B rubles ($17.4M) to "prepare the national team for the upcoming Winter Olympics." ROC First Deputy President Stanislav Pozdnyakov said that the team's preparation for the Winter Olympics is "in full swing," although the ROC is "facing difficulties that traditionally accompany the warm up for the world's biggest sporting events." Russia's participation in the 2018 PyeongChang Games is "still threatened by an ongoing doping investigation" (RT, 10/17).