(AA) – Turkey should pursue its Olympic dream despite failing in its bid to host the 2020 summer games, the head of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said.
“Turkey, like many other countries, has been nominated multiple times to host the Olympics,” President Thomas Bach said, citing previous unsuccessful bids by how Germany, France and Spain.
“Despite this, these countries have always come back as a nominee… Turkey should not leave the race as well.”
Talking to the Anadolu Agency at the SportAccord Convention in Sochi, Russia, on Sunday, Bach added: “You cannot always win the bid to be a host, as you cannot always win a sports competition, but if you want to win you have to participate and run in the race.”
Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, has made bids to host the summer games in 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2020. The 2020 games were awarded to Tokyo in 2013 at the same IOC session that saw Bach voted to head the committee for an eight-year term.
Bach, a former Olympic fencer, said Turkey’s stance against doping as an element in the country’s favor for future bids.
“Turkey continues to make progress in the fight against doping,” he told AA, adding that he had full confidence in Turkey’s National Olympic Committee. Bach also stressed the importance of cooperating with the government to fight drug use in sport.
Last Friday, the Turkish Anti-Doping Committee signed a cooperation deal with the World Anti-Doping Agency and the Norwegian Anti-Doping Committee.
The IOC will decide the host for the 2024 summer OIympic Games in May next year.
According to Bach, the SportAccord Convention of leading international sporting bodies would continue to receive IOC support.
Associations attending the six-day event included the World Anti-Doping Agency, the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations, the Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations and the Alliance of Independent Members of SportAccord.
The Anadolu Agency is the convention’s official media partner for the second time.