Bach to visit India amid speculation of 2024 Olympics bid

NEW DELHI (AP) IOC President Thomas Bach will visit India this month amid speculation of a bid for the 2024 Olympics by New Delhi or the western city of Ahmedabad.

Indian Olympic Association president Narayana Ramachandran confirmed Bach was invited to India, and refrained from talking about the bid.

Bach was invited by the IOA and government to visit in the last week of April, Ramachandran told the Press Trust of India.

Indian media say Prime Minister Narendra Modi is exploring the possibility of bidding for the games, and is keen on Ahmedabad, the biggest city in his home state of Gujarat.

IOA secretary Rajeev Mehta though said there were no immediate plans for a bid.

''I have no knowledge of any proposal to bid for the Olympic Games,'' Mehta told The Associated Press by telephone.

India has until Sept. 15 to join Boston, Rome and Hamburg, Germany, who are the declared 2024 candidates so far.

India hosted the Asian Games at New Delhi in 1951 and 1982 with some success, but its organization of the 2010 Commonwealth Games was heavily criticized at home and abroad over corruption charges and delays in construction.

The IOA, which was suspended for more than one year by the IOC in 2012 for electing tainted officials from 2010, dropped its plan to bid for the 2019 Asian Games despite being provided a deadline extension by the Olympic Council of Asia.

India has also had little impact on the Olympics, winning its most medals (six) at one edition at London in 2012. India has one individual Olympic gold medal, through shooter Abhinav Bindra at Beijing in 2008, and eight gold medals in field hockey, the last of them in 1980.

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