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LA bid 'not only about 2024'

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Los Angeles Olympic bid chiefs hinted for the first time on Wednesday that the city could be ready to step aside for Paris in the race for the 2024 Games.

LA 2024 chairman Casey Wasserman suggested the Californian metropolis was open to a mooted deal which would see Los Angeles stage the Games in 2028 after Paris.

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The Rose Bowl is the proposed soccer venue for the LA2024 bid. Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

"To be blunt, LA 2024 has never been only about LA or 2024," Wasserman said, in the clearest indication yet Los Angeles was ready to cede 2024 to the French capital.

Wasserman's remarks come just two days before the IOC meets in Lausanne to discuss the issue of announcing the hosts of the 2024 and 2028 at the same time this year.

The IOC is keen on a joint award in an effort to lock in two host candidates which offer low-risk, high-quality bids at a time when fewer cities are willing to take on the vast expense of staging the Olympics.

Publicly, both Paris and Los Angeles bid officials have stuck to the line that they remain focused only on 2024.

Paris bid chiefs have taken a harder line, issuing an ultimatum that it was 2024 or nothing, and that the city would not accept 2028 as a back-up.

"We can't accept 2028," Paris bid co-chairman Tony Estanguet said in London in March. "It's not possible."

Olympic gymnast Nastia Liukin poses for photos in front of a rendering of the Los Angeles 2024's Long Beach Sports Park. Photo: AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Los Angeles officials have applauded the IOC's willingness to explore the joint bid concept, but insist they remain set on 2024.

Responding to a Wall Street Journal report last week which said the IOC was close to reaching an agreement which would see Paris take 2024 and Los Angeles 2028, LA 2024 officials said: "While the IOC is reviewing its bid process, we remain focused on the 2024 Games."

Wasserman's statement on Wednesday meanwhile emphasised that the Californian city had eschewed issuing an ultimatum to the IOC.

"When the issue of a dual award for the 2024 and 2028 Games was initially raised, we didn't say it's 'LA first' or it's "now or never" for LA," Wasserman wrote.

"That sounds like an ultimatum. We could have used that strategy, but we didn't because we thought it was presumptuous to tell the IOC what to do and how to think."

The IOC is due to vote on the 2024 hosts at its meeting in Lima in September.

A Summer Olympics in Paris in 2024 would come on the 100th anniversary of the 1924 Paris Games. Los Angeles last hosted the sporting extravaganza in 1984.

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