KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — U.S. Olympic leaders have started contacting Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington about the possibility of bidding for the 2024 Games and believe the demise of Boston’s candidacy will be “ancient history” by the time the host city is selected in 2017.
But in an interview Saturday with The Associated Press, U.S. Olympic Committee chairman Larry Probst poured cold water on the possibility of a joint bid between Los Angeles and San Francisco, though he didn’t rule it out completely.
“I think that would be complicated — not impossible, but complicated,” he said of the dual hosting responsibility, which has been discussed by San Francisco Olympic official Larry Baer and Los Angeles counterpart Casey Wasserman.
Los Angeles, which hosted the 1932 and 1984 Olympics, is still widely viewed as the likely choice.
“We’ll talk to them just like we’ll talk to San Francisco and Washington,” Probst said.
A decision will be made by the end of August on which of three cities should replace Boston as the American contender in a race that already features four European cities.
“We’ve got to reconnect with the three cities that were part of the group of finalists,” Probst said on the sidelines of the IOC general assembly in Kuala Lumpur. “We’ve got to determine what their level of interest is in pursuing a bid and take that feedback and gather our board together and discuss that feedback with our board and make a decision.”
“That will all happen in the month of August,” he added. “We will have resolved this by the end of the month.” Probst gave his most extensive public comments since the USOC cut ties with Boston on Monday, pulling the plug on a bid plagued by a lack of public support.
The USOC now faces a Sept. 15 IOC deadline to enter a bid that would replace Boston, which had been chosen ahead of the three remaining options.
Probst said the USOC has begun the process of sounding out the three cities about stepping in, but declined to say what kind of response the committee has received so far.
Many IOC members have told the AP they would welcome a Los Angeles bid.
“They’ve heard the speculation, they’ve read the speculation and of course they assume it’s going to happen,” Probst said. “They want to see a bid from the United States. We would love to host the games in 2024 and hope to have a strong bid.”
Probst said numerous IOC members have spoken to him here about Boston’s withdrawal.