FILE - In this Feb.3, 2017 file photo, the Eiffel Tower lit up with colors for the Paris 2024 bid during the launch of its campaign as candidate for the 2024 Olympic summer games in Paris. Groups defending the French language are lodging legal protests ov
Francois Mori
February 18, 2017

ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (AP) International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach welcomes talk that two Summer Games hosts could be picked at the same time in September.

''I like it that people are talking in this way about the Olympic candidature procedure,'' Bach told The Associated Press on Saturday, amid speculation Los Angeles and Paris could both get hosting rights for either the 2024 or 2028 Olympics.

''It shows that people are caring. This we appreciate very much.''

Bach fueled the dual award debate in December, when he suggested the current bidding process ''produces too many losers.''

Persistent ongoing speculation about rewarding two 2024 bidders ''may give us some ideas,'' the IOC president said during a visit to the ski world championships.

The IOC has not formally begun any 2028 bid process, and it is also unclear if cities which are targeting that contest would have grounds for complaint about a dual award in September.

Los Angeles and Paris are in the 2024 Olympics bid contest with Budapest, Hungary.

Budapest is seen as the outsider, and could even withdraw next week under pressure from an opposition political group to force a referendum

The city's mayor, Istvan Tarlos, said on Friday he discussed the bid's status with Prime Minister Viktor Orban. More meetings were planned on Wednesday.

Bach was asked by the AP on Saturday if the IOC could arrive in Lima, Peru, for the Sept. 13 hosting vote with two candidates and two winners.

''Let us discuss. This is a discussion,'' the president said. ''It also depends on the timing. This is, you know, why I appreciate also the public discussion.

''There are many options.''

Los Angeles and Paris are viewed as high-quality options for the IOC, and it is unclear if either would bid again in a new 2028 process if they failed to win the 2024 hosting rights.

Bach made creating a more flexible and cost-effective Summer and Winter Games hosting process central to his presidency in a reform program called Olympic Agenda 2020.

The German official acknowledged in December that some challenges remained.

''This procedure as it is ... in our political environment in such a fragile world just produces too many losers,'' Bach said on Saturday.

He also suggested that Olympic unrest in Budapest was down to a new political group that ''wanted to make a name.''

''The referendum is obviously considered by them to be a good tool to put themselves on the map of the political landscape in Hungary,'' Bach said.

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