Negating mayoral speculation, CONI chief focuses on 2024 bid
ROME (AP) Dismissing speculation that he could run for mayor, the head of Italy's Olympic committee pledged Friday to keep his current job and attempt to bring the 2024 Games to Rome.
''Rome - my city which I love - deserves a government that is up to the challenge for the good of everyone and for national prestige,'' Giovanni Malago said. ''We are working to try and bring the 2024 Olympics to the capital of Italy. This, and only this, is my vision for the future.''
Malago issued his statement a day after Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino resigned following a scandal over his expense accounts.
Malago has been mentioned as possible future candidate for mayor for years, and media speculation of a possible move heightened after Marino's resignation.
Rome bid leader Luca Corder di Montezemolo said the candidacy would not be affected by a mayoral change.
However, if a member of the opposition 5-Star Movement is elected, it could mean trouble for the bid.
Malago was elected CONI president in 2013.
''I am absolutely devoted to supporting the organization and reform of Italian sport to the best of my capabilities, making it more and more one of the shining lights of our country,'' Malago said.
The other 2024 candidates are Paris, Los Angeles, Hamburg and Budapest.
The International Olympic Committee will select the host city in 2017.
Italian Premier Matteo Renzi announced Rome's 2024 bid last year, and Marino officially submitted the candidacy to the IOC last month.
Andrew Dampf can be followed at www.twitter.com/asdampf