Chairman Charles H. Moore said that his team today discussed substantively for the first time their concern that the IOC might harbor resentment toward Washington on political grounds, including talk of a possible U.S. invasion of Iraq and Congress's 1999 questioning of IOC then-president Juan Antonio Samaranch and other officials over the Salt Lake City Olympic bribery scandal.
Several site team members in recent days said they believed the Washington-Baltimore bid would advance because of its overall excellence, strong leadership and international strategies. Bid leaders Dan Knise and John Morton, who learned of their bid's fate in the front row of today's televised news conference, appeared stunned and speechless when Moore read off the finalists. After the 30-minute news conference, Knise turned to greet reporters with reddened eyes.
A source from within the Washington-Baltimore bid team said Knise and Morton were frustrated that the USOC site evaluation team had never discussed with them the USOC's political concerns regarding Washington as the nation's capital. "At some point, I would like to know what the deficiencies were, and what we could have done better," Knise said. Washington's bid effort began six years ago, survived a rocky leadership change and cost nearly $10 million. Knise and Morton said they would spend the coming days trying to figure out how to close down the bid group's operations while leaving a legacy to the community -- aside from the legacy of community cooperation they believe the bid effort brought, uniting Baltimore and Washington in a way many once thought impossible.
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