2020 bidding process, IOC presidential race enter vital phases

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The races for the 2020 Olympics and the International Olympic Committee presidency heat up this week in Lausanne, Switzerland, where the three bid cities and the six candidates to succeed Jacques Rogge make presentations to the IOC membership.

The cities — Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo — will make pitches Wednesday. The presidential candidates — Thomas Bach (Germany), Sergei Bubka (Ukraine), Richard Carrion (Puerto Rico), Ng Ser Miang (Singapore), Denis Oswald (Switzerland) and C.K. Wu (Taiwan) — take their turns Thursday.

The bid city presentations will each last 45 minutes with 45-minute question-and-answer sessions to follow. The presidential candidates will each receive 15 minutes to state their cases, according to The Associated Press.

The most interesting candidate city is Istanbul, considering the Turkish people’s recent protests against the government and a wave of positive drug tests among the nation’s athletes. Current IOC president Rogge is stepping down after 12 years in office, with Bach generating the most buzz to be next in line.

The more than 100 IOC members will decide on the host of the 2020 Olympics on Sept. 7 and the next IOC president on Sept. 10.