By Duncan Mackay in Vancouver

February 21 - The United States will not bid for the Olympics again until they receive a signal that they have a chance of winning them, the new chief executive of the country's Olympic Committee Scott Blackmun (pictured) has told insidethegames.

The United States Olympic Committee (USOC)  is still reeling from two consecutive unsuccessful bids for the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, when both New York and Chicago were comprehensively beaten by London and Rio de Janeiro respectively.

A number of American cities have already expressed an interest in launching bids for the 2020 Olympics, but Blackmun has warned that the USOC will not back any candidate until they are confident that they have a chance of winning.

He told insidethegames: "We're not going to bid until the IOC (International Olympic Committee) gives us some sense that they really want a US-hosted Games.

"We can't ignore what has happened with the New York bid and the Chicago bid.

"It is a very expensive process.

"Chicago spent $80 million (£52 million) on their bid and I don't think we want to invest the resources - and I don't think we would encourage cities to invest the resources - until the IOC sends us a message."

Asked what kind of message that would mean, Blackmun claimed it had to be from the top.

He said: "Some encouragement from the leadership of the IOC, meaning the President.

"I think everything that has been said has been positive but I don't get the sense that the IOC has viewed a US-hosted Games as a strategic priority.

"In fact, just the opposite.

"I think, for understandable and good reasons, the IOC thought it was important to have the Games in South America and I think the fact they thought that was a factor in the voting [at Copenhagen last October].

"Rio won fair and square but the fact that the IOC thought it was important to share the Games with a new continent had an impact on the voting.
"If they decide, for whatever reasons, they want to have the Games in the United States then that would have an impact on the voting.

"I don't want to be bidding in a contest where their desire is go somewhere else."

Blackmun, who has been in his new role only three weeks, has been busy meeting IOC officials here but claims he has not received any indication yet that the USOC should put forward a candidate for the 2020 Olympics, which are due to be awarded at the IOC Session in Buenos Aires in 2013.

He said: "It's possible [we might bid] because I don't want to close off any opportunity before I have to and I don't have to close off that opportunity now.

"But as we sit here today we do not have a present intention of bidding for 2020."

Blackmun did, though, offer some encouragement to Denver and Reno-Tahoe, who both want to bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

He told insidethegames: "We've got three-plus years to make that decision.

"They are both great cities.

"I know Denver very, very well and they could put together a capable bid, and I'm sure Reno could as well.

"Fortunately we've got some time before we have to make that decision."

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