Saturday, September 7, 2013

Madrid avoids the winner's curse

Tokio has just won the bid to organize the 2020 Olympic Games. In May 2004, days before the organizer of the 2012 Games was decided, the British magazine The Economist wrote a piece under the title "Do London a Favour: give the Olympics to Paris." Following this line of thought, Madrid should be celebrating that the games will be organized by another city. Instead of organizing an expensive party, Spain's capital will be able to spend its scarce resources on more pressing needs, such as health, education or social projects. Apparently, the weakest point of Madrid's bid was the failure of the Spanish authorities to show determination in its fight against illegal doping. Probably the financial and institutional crisis (corruption scandals included, to which sports doping belongs) did not help. When Italy was ruled by the government of the technocratic economist Mario Monti, it wisely decided to withdraw the bid to organize the 2020 Olympics. Let's hope that the Spanish authorities, who have not been convinced by other arguments, find now the energy to fight any form of corruption, including doping in sports.

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