|London Candidate City Logo - Olympics 2012|
Nine cities submitting bids to host the 2012 Summer Olympics and 2012 Paralympics were recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The Committee shortlisted five of them—London,Madrid, Moscow, New York City, and Paris—from which London eventually prevailed; it will become the first city to host the Olympic Games for a third time. The bidding process for the 2012 Olympics was considered one of the most hotly contested in the history of the IOC. Paris was seen by some as the front-runner for much of the campaign, but skilful lobbying by London's supporters and an inspirational final presentation by Sebastian Coe led to the success of its bid. Madrid was regarded as one of the favourites, but the city did not receive enough votes to surpass Paris and London. The fact that Spain held the Olympics in 1992 was also a major detriment to Madrid's bid.
After a technical evaluation of the nine original bids, the top five were shortlisted on 18 May 2004, becoming official candidates. The remaining applicant cities—Havana, Istanbul, Leipzig and Rio de Janeiro—were eliminated. Four of the five candidate cities were highly recognised national capitals, which lent an increased competitive interest to the final bidding phase. Paris and Madrid earned the top scores during the application phase, but in early 2005, a more thorough evaluation of the candidates put Paris and London in a close race that became tighter as the final vote approached. On 6 July 2005, in a four-round exhaustive ballot of the IOC (gathered at the 117th IOC Session in Singapore), Moscow, New York City, and Madrid were eliminated in the first three rounds. London won the final round by a margin of four votes over Paris and secured the right to host the 2012 Olympics.
In the month after the election, members of the Paris 2012 delegation argued that the London delegation had violated IOC rules. The key points in the accusations were London 2012's abortive athlete incentive initiative and lobbying by then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair. A public statement by IOC PresidentJacques Rogge dismissed these accusations, stating that the competition had been fair. Another controversy occurred during the bidding process when an undercover investigation by British television series Panorama revealed a corruption scandal associated with IOC member Ivan Slavkov and Olympic agents, who offered to deliver votes from IOC members to any 2012 Olympic bid in return for financial favours. Still recovering from the effects of the Salt Lake City scandal, the IOC reacted swiftly and punitively toward the rule-breaking individuals.