2010 candidates cities meet IOC for first time in Salt Lake 

Candidate cities for the 2010 Winter Games have met with the International Olympic Committee for the first time.

At the meeting held at the Salt Lake Games in Utah, IOC president Jacques Rogge stressed that candidates must play by the rules.

"Everyone was told that they better behave themselves and (the IOC) explained what the sanctions would be if they didn’t," said Vancouver Whistler bid corporation chief operating officer John Furlong, who attended the meeting.

"There was a real sense at the start of this mission that some of the visiting cities had perhaps broken the rules or bent them a bit so there were a few shots fired over the bow (by the IOC)."

Last week Korea came under fire for displaying a huge banner proclaiming their intention to host the 2010 Winter Games.

The banner has since been taken down.

If candidate cities don’t follow the rules they will be sanctioned said Furlong. Those sanctions can include a letter outlining their infraction sent to every IOC member.

"That would mean you are essentially creating an image that you are not playing fair," said Furlong, something no candidate city wants to do.

He approached the IOC independently before the candidates’ meetings to makes sure there were no problems with Canada’s promotions to date.

"We were told there were no issues with our bid or our team," said Furlong from Salt Lake.

Promoting the bid without actually being able to promote is no easy task.

"You can really honestly do nothing," said Furlong.

"We have become professionals at doing nothing, which means we have been doing a lot but it is very subtle. What they don’t want is this hard-nosed campaigning sort-of in your face.

"We have made lots of friends here. It has been a very successful mission for us here so far."

If an infraction of the rules is severe enough, said Furlong, the bid could even be disqualified.

Rogge also sent candidate cities away with a sobering message.

He reminded them that there would only be one winner and the other seven candidates would leave "bitterly disappointed."

"It was a pretty sobering message for everybody and I think some of the cities that have joined the race at the last minute were pretty taken aback by it," said Furlong.

Candidate cities were also told about what the IOC expects in their mini-bid books due May 31, 2002, and what is expected of the host cities and countries as far as hosting an Olympics.

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