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Shanghai Olympics rumors 'a non-starter'

(Shanghai Daily)

08:12, August 24, 2011

SHANGHAI Sports Bureau yesterday denied online rumors that the city is bidding to host the 2028 Summer Olympics.

Speculation is rife on the Internet that Shanghai has earmarked several land plots to build venues for the Olympics. These are said to be scattered mostly in the suburbs, including Baoshan, Pudong and Minhang districts.

But an official from the sports bureau, who declined to be identified, said it was impossible for Shanghai to bid for the 2028 Olympics - although it had the ability to host the event.

"We've never heard of such a plan," the official said. "If it was true, we would've already started preparations."

Baoshan and Pudong district governments also said they knew nothing of any bid.

The rumor started late last month with a post on hoopchina.com, one of the country's most popular cyber communities for basketball fans.

The post listed 90 major projects across the city in the coming years, in which supposed venues for the 2028 Summer Olympics were highlighted.

The post, claimed to based on inside knowledge, said residents from a 5-square-kilometer area in Dachang Town, Baoshan, would be relocated to make way for the Olympic village.

It also named events to be held at current venues across the city.

"I'm not trying to cover up anything, but at the moment it is impossible for the city to bid for the Olympics," the official said.

The sports bureau official said comments by Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee, who said last month during the 14th FINA World Championships that Shanghai had the ability to host the Olympics, may have led to the rumor.

"We have the ability but it doesn't mean we will bid," the official said.

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