October 24 - A joint Russia-Azerbaijan bid to host the Youth Olympic Games in 2018 could be launched, the vice-president of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) has claimed.
According to the RIA Novosti news agency, Akhmed Bilalov claimed that the Games would be a good boost for the region of Dagestan, which with Azerbaijan are looking to develop their tourist and recreational potential.
insidethegames had revealed exclusively in July that Dagestan were considering launching a bid.
Bilalov was leading a delegation from the North Caucasus Resorts, which is currently working to construct the Peak 5642 Ski Resort in the region, as first reported on insidethegames last December.
Dagestan would be a bold choice for the Youth Olympic Games, given that the North Caucasion region has been the scene of conflict for much of the last decade, with terrorist attacks proving a major stumbling block for its tourist industry.
Dagestan has, however, increased its profile through the Russian football club Anzhi Makhachkala, who are funded by billionaire Suleiman Kerimov, and who have bought a number of big name players including Roberto Carlos and Samuel Eto'o this year.
The region is so volatile though, that the big spending team train in Moscow and fly to their home ground on match days.
The bid would face a tough battle to win the right to host the Youth Olympics, with Mexican city Monterrey, Medellín in Colombia and the Argentinian capital Buenos Aires all competing to host the Games, while Glasgow are also expected to put themselves forward for the event.
An even bigger opponent, however, is set to be the Olympic Charter which prohibits joint bids from two cities, let alone one from cities in two different countries.
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July 2011: Exclusive - Chechnya neighbour set to launch bid for Summer Youth Olympics
December 2010: Russian Olympic Committee vice-president planning multi-billion dollar ski resort