Sunday, June 20, 1999 Published at 10:44 GMT 11:44 UK
Swiss anger at Olympic loss
Stunned silence in the centre of Sion as the news was announced
Locals in the Swiss city of Sion, which lost the contest to host the 2006 Winter Olympics to Turin, have been venting their anger and disappointment at the decision.
BBC Sports Correspondent Harry Peart says Turin may have benefited from anti-Swiss sentiment within the IOC after a Swiss delegate accused IOC members of taking bribes during Salt Lake City's successful bid for the 2002 winter games.
Some said the IOC, whose headquarters was just 100km from Sion, was no longer welcome in Switzerland. "IOC go to Palermo," said one placard on display.
"It's not logical," said one local. "We're about winter sports much more than Turin, we don't understand. Nobody knows the reason and I doubt we ever will. We are disgusted."
One Swiss TV commentator declared the result "a scandal."
"It is very hard," said Swiss Vice-President and leader of the Sion bid Adolf Ogi. "You have to wonder if (our) country has any political and international importance any more.
The other four contenders - Finnish capital, Helsinki, Austria's Klagenfurt, Slovakia's Poprad Tatry and Poland's Zakopane - were eliminated at an earlier stage.
The Committee's members were banned from visiting the cities because of the Salt Lake City bidding scandal, which led to the expulsion or resignation of 10 members.
New voting system
Together with members of the evaluation and athletes commissions, they reduced the field to two cities.
All the members were then allowed to vote for the winner.
The system, which was hastily imposed after the Salt Lake City scandal, has been criticised by IOC members and by the bidding cities.
They say it is unreasonable to have members relying on books, videos and a 60-minute presentation to decide such an important issue.
The IOC 2000 task force, which is looking into major reforms of the movement, will make recommendations to improve the system.
When bidding for the 2002 Winter Games, Salt Lake City distributed more than $1m to IOC members.