Olympic Games: Major helps British bid in Lausanne

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The Independent Online
JOHN MAJOR, the Prime Minister, yesterday met Juan Antonio Samaranch, the president of the International Olympic Committee, in Lausanne to try to further Manchester's bid to host the 2000 Summer Games.

After spending half an hour with the IOC president at the committee's headquarters overlooking Lake Geneva, Major said: 'My presence here today signifies the total and unreserved commitment of the British government in support of this candidature.'

Major added that he did not think Saturday's fiasco at Aintree, when the Grand National was declared void, would harm Britain's sporting reputation overseas or Manchester's chances.

The IOC will name the site in September at Monte Carlo and Manchester officials hope Major will also make a personal pitch at the Monte Carlo meeting.

Samaranch is said to be grateful for Major's support last year in ensuring the participation of athletes from Serbia and Montenegro in the Barcelona Games despite a United Nations embargo.