May 23 - The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) are "on the verge" of announcing that they have reached a deal over their high profile revenue-sharing dispute following negotiations that have been going on for more than three years.

An announcement could be made as early as tomorrow.

The revenue-sharing issue has been one of the most high profile topics of conversation in Olympic circles for several y while years now and has caused huge friction between the two powerful organisations.

The USOC currently receives a 20 per cent share of global sponsorship revenue and a 12.75 per cent share of US broadcast rights deals but many international officials, including the IOC, think it is too big a portion.

The issue was the main reason why the USOC was humiliated in Copenhagen in October 2009 when their Chicago bid was eliminated by the IOC in the first round of voting for the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics, which was awarded to Rio de Janeiro.

It came after New York's bid for 2012 also faltered, with London eventually awarded the Games, and America sat out the bid campaign for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, declaring that they will not bid for the Games again until they have reached an agreement over revenue sharing.

But it has emerged here at the Sport Accord Convention that the deal has finally been agreed and it now only needs to be rubber-stamped by the IOC Executive Board and the USOC Executive Board.

"We are very, very close to a deal," Mark Adams, the IOC director of communications, said here at a press conference in response to a question asked by insidethegames.

"No deal has been done until it has been agreed by our Executive Board and their Executive Board so at present, no deal has been done.

"But things are certainly looking very positive and we are heading in the right direction.

"We are certainly very close."

The move comes after USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun revealed at the Team USA Media Summit in Dallas last week that "positive news" was imminent.

"It is a complicated endeavour and that is why the discussions are in their sixteenth or seventeenth month at this point," Blackmun said.

"But I can tell you that we continue to make progress.

"We haven't gone backwards at any point in the discussions and I think we are much closer now than we were when we started in January 2011.

"I am hopeful, in the not too distant future, that we will have some positive news."

The move would have major repercussions in the Olympic Movement as it would open the way for America to bid for the Olympic and Paralympic Games again.

The deadline has already passed for a city for the United States to get involved in the 2020 bid race but an American bid for the 2022 Winter Games or 2024 Summer Games now appears to be a distinct possibility.

Denver have been touted as a 2022 Winter Games American candidate while numerous cities, including Los Angeles and Philadelphia, have already been talked about in terms of a 2024 Summer Games candidate.

-Tom Degun

Source: www.insidethegames.biz


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