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Last Updated: Monday, 27 September, 2004, 15:51 GMT 16:51 UK
February check on 2012 bid
INSPECTION DATES 2005
Prime Minister Tony Blair is backing London's bid
Madrid: 3-6 Feb
London: 16-19 Feb
New York: 21-24 Feb
Paris: 9-12 Mar
Moscow: 14-17 Mar
Inspectors will assess London's bid for the 2012 Olympics during a visit to the capital early in 2005.

The International Olympic Committee said its evaluation commission will be in London from 16 to 19 February.

All five cities on the shortlist, which also includes Madrid, New York, Paris and Moscow, will be visited.

London is the second city on the schedule, and the commission's final report is expected to be crucial in determining the bid winner.

The dates of London's visit are likely to be beneficial as it falls during the school half-term, when traffic levels in the city are likely to be lower than normal.

An 11-member inspection panel, led by Morocco's Nawal El Moutawakel, will meet bid leaders and city and government officials during the visits.

Its report will study issues such as venues, security, transportation, hotels and financing.

The findings will be published at least a month before the IOC selects the host city at its session in Singapore on 6 July.

BID TIMETABLE 2005
15 Nov: Deadline for bids
Before 6 June 2005: IOC publishes evaluation report
6 July 2005: Host city selected
IOC members have been barred from visiting bid cities since the Salt Lake City voting scandal in 1998 and 1999.

The evaluation report is considered an important guide for the 100-plus members, who vote by secret ballot.

El Moutawakel was the 400m hurdles champion at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.

An IOC member since 1998, she was the first woman from a Muslim nation to win an Olympic medal and the first Moroccan athlete to win gold.





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