Japan’s clean hands on doping key in winning the 2020 Games for Tokyo

Istanbul and Madrid swept aside as IOC members choose the safe option

The International Olympic Committee duly delivered the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games into the safe hands of Tokyo but it was not only the significant financial security offered by the Japanese capital that persuaded the IOC’s members to vote decisively in its favour ahead of Istanbul and Madrid. The issue of doping, and the stark contrast between Japan’s glowing record of never having had an athlete test positive at either the Olympic or Paralympic Games, plus Turkey’s recent scandals, played a role in ensuring a crushing victory for Tokyo in what had been predicted as a tight contest.

Tokyo, with $4.5bn already in the bank, had consistently pitched its bid as the one to rely on and with concerns mounting within IOC ranks over the state of preparation for the Rio Games in 2016 – as well as the controversies surrounding the budget and politics for next year’s Sochi Winter Games – the certainties it offered when compared to the huge build Istanbul faced and continued uncertainty over the state of the Spanish economy were telling. Madrid bowed out in the first round – the city tied with Istanbul on 26 votes but lost an eliminator to the Turks by 49-45 – before Tokyo easily beat Istanbul by 60 votes to 36.

“The IOC members, in a fragile world, have decided in favour of tradition and stability,” said Thomas Bach, an IOC vice-president and the favourite to succeed Jacques Rogge in tomorrow’s presidential election. It was a line echoed across the voting members, with a number agreeing the current landscape in Rio had played a part. Britain’s Craig Reedie, another vice-president, said: “The certainty was a crucial factor — the certainty that they could deliver.”

Both Madrid and Istanbul were questioned over their countries’ records on doping. Each has been accused of not treating the issue seriously enough, and both have had high-profile doping scandals in recent months. Turkey has seen more than 30 athletes – the majority of them aged 23 or under – fail dope tests this year. The winner of the 1500m in London, Asli Cakir Alptekin, faces being stripped of her gold and banned for life. The revelation that Turkey only established a national anti-doping agency two years ago despite this being Istanbul’s fifth bid was not well received.

The Madrid bid has been dogged by the Operation Puerto case and the refusal of the Spanish authorities to hand over the blood bags gathered in evidence against Eufemiano Fuentes, the doctor convicted of doping, to agencies for further analysis. Adam Pengilly, a former skeleton racer now Britain’s IOC member, was among those to use the question-and-answer session after each bid’s presentation in Buenos Aires to raise the issue of doping. “It is clear that the IOC members pay a lot of attention to the situation in the fight against doping,” said Rogge.

While Rogge suggested that it was difficult to ascertain how much of an influence that had played on the voting, it certainly aided Tokyo’s cause. It was emphatically Tokyo’s night – they came in as favourites, delivered the best presentation, fronted by Princess Hisako of Takamado, the first member of the Japanese Imperial family to address the IOC, and more than adequately dealt with their main problem, with the country’s prime minister Shinzo Abe convincing voters that seven years down the line leaks at the Fukushima nuclear plant, some 150 miles away, would not be an issue.

Tokyo’s second Games will be compact and will have at its heart a re-built National Olympic Stadium, a stunning 80,000-capacity venue that is already being constructed to host the Rugby World Cup final in 2019. Eighty-five per cent of the venues are within 8km of the athletes’ village while 21 of them will be newly built for the Games. There is little accompanying work required on the city’s infrastructure.

It was Madrid’s third successive failure. The Spanish capital had promised a new-look cheaper Games in answer to questions over the state of the country’s economy. But the combination of long-term fears over that economy, doping and geography did for them. With the IOC looking to spread their main event around the globe there is a feeling that Europe, having hosted the 2012 and 2004 Games, has had its turn for now. The race for 2024 is likely to be between Europe and the US, with Paris, wounds licked post-London, pondering another bid.

It is a particularly heavy blow for Turkey, who had dropped a bid to host football’s European Championships in 2020 to focus on the Olympic contest. The Euros had been theirs for the taking. With the tournament now to be spread around Europe, Istanbul is likely to bid to stage the finals and semi-finals and will be well placed to beat the likes of London to do so, given the probable support of Michel Platini, Uefa’s president.

Tokyo Brits: Past & future

1964

For Britain much of the story of the 1964 Games was found in one room in the athletes’ village. Mary Rand and Ann Packer were room-mates in Tokyo and returned home with five medals between them. Rand became the first British woman to win a track-and-field gold in the long jump – Lynn “the Leap” Davies won the men’s too to secure a rare double – and was followed onto the podium by Packer, who claimed 800m gold. Packer also won silver in the 400m, while Rand, on leave from her job in a Guinness factory, took a silver in the pentathlon and a relay bronze.

Three for 2020

Katarina Johnson-Thompson

Earmarked as a successor to Denise Lewis and Jessica Ennis-Hill, the 20-year-old from Liverpool is aiming for a medal in Rio in 2016 but should be at her peak in the heptathlon come Tokyo.

Elinor Barker

The 18-year-old is the latest talent to pedal off British Cycling’s production line. She is already a world champion, having helped Britain to team pursuit gold in Minsk this year.

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor

Competed in London 2012 as a 16-year-old and the medley specialist is widely regarded within swimming as a star in the making.

Sport
Lionel Messi pictured after reaching the final
world cup 2014
Sport
Lionel Messi and Thomas Muller have shone brightest for Argentina and Germany respectively on their way to the World Cup final
Sport
Brazilian fans watch the match for third place between Brazil and Netherlands
Brazil 0 Netherlands 3: Dutch pile on the misery in third place playoff
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Eminem's daughter Hailie has graduated from high school
music
News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Arts and Entertainment
'Deep Breath' is Peter Capaldi's first full-length adventure as the twelfth Doctor
TVFirst episode of new series has ended up on the internet
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?