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Madrid mayor rules out bid for 2024 Games

Madrid's Mayor Ana Botella speaks during a news conference in Buenos Aires, on Madrid's candidacy for the 2020 summer Olympics, September 4,
Madrid's Mayor Ana Botella speaks during a news conference in Buenos Aires, on Madrid's candidacy for the 2020 summer Olympics, September 4,

MADRID (Reuters) - The mayor of Madrid has ruled out a bid for the 2024 Olympic Games after the Spanish capital's dismal failure last week to win the right to host the 2020 edition.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) members meeting in Buenos Aires eliminated Madrid, bidding for the third time in a row, from the first round of voting and awarded the Games to Tokyo over Istanbul.

Madrid's presentation to the IOC has been widely ridiculed, with Mayor Ana Botella, the wife of former conservative Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, bearing the brunt of the criticism after she mangled comments in English at a news conference.

"I think that for the moment the Olympic race has given us all the benefits we can expect from it in the next few years," Botella said at a breakfast forum with business and political leaders in Madrid on Thursday.

"I believe, therefore, that Madrid should not seek to host the 2024 Games," she added.

As well as the disappointing presentation, various other theories have been put forward as to why Madrid failed, including their decision to present their bid as the "austerity option" and a perception that Spain is soft on doping.

Madrid's failed bid was the Spanish capital's fourth in total after the city also lost out to Munich for the right to host the 1972 Games.

(Reporting by Raquel Castillo; Writing by Iain Rogers; Editing by John O'Brien)

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