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OSAKA — This city’s 2008 Olympic bid will undergo a preliminary review by the International OlympicCommittee sometime between March and September, during which time it must not promote the bid internationally, IOC officials have told Osaka. “Under the new guidelines, cities wishing to bid for the 2008 Games will submit their applications in February 2000,” an IOC spokesperson in Lausanne, Switzerland, said this week. “An IOC panel will visit the applicants between March and September, and those cities whom the IOC commission decides are qualified candidates will be allowed to begin overseas promotion of their bid in September,” the spokesperson said. The news, however, was greeted with disappointment by the city’s Olympic officials, who had hoped to begin promoting Osaka in February. It also comes only about a week after the IOC banned member visits to bid cities in response to the bribery scandal that has shaken the IOC over the past year. Osaka officials are concerned that the city’s low international profile will place them at a considerable disadvantage against cities such as Beijing and Paris. Mayor Takafumi Isomura and other city officials have repeatedly said that, judged on its technical ability to hold the Olympics, Osaka is clearly a strong candidate.

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