Oslo has withdrawn its bid to stage the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games after the Norwegian Government's majority Conservative Party could not agree on supporting it.
Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten reported the Parliamentary group was split roughly down the middle in its support for a bid.
Backing for Oslo 2022 was assessed during a three-and-a-half hour meeting, with members asked whether they wanted to support a Government guarantee for Oslo's application to stage the Games.
Oslo Municipality reacted by pulling its application for the Government guarantee, the final act of a bid that is now dead.
"Oslo 2022 is a project that has had overwhelming support in the City Council and which has received the endorsement of the city's population through the local referendum in 2013, I had hoped for a different result tonight and of course [I am] disappointed," said Stian Berger Røsland, Governing Mayor of Oslo and leader of the bid.
"But the plans we have developed to build the town further up until 2022 and afterwards, we will implement."
The axing of Olso's bid means there are now only two runners in the 2002 race: Kazakhstan's largest city Almaty and Chinese capital Beijing.
Before the Oslo Municipality's announcement, Parliamentary leader Trond Helland and faction leader Svein Harberg told the media they expected Norway's Government to put a stop to the capital's bid to stage the Games.
Helland said: "There has been a desire of many to influence the International Olympic Committee to get [a] sober Olympics," reported Aftenposten.
"When the group is still so split down the middle, we choose to stop the process."
The right wing Progress Party, a junior coalition partner in Norway's Government, voted against going ahead with the bid in May.
It claimed hosting the Olympics and Paralympics would be too costly and could cause funds to be stripped back from other areas, including healthcare and education.
In March, politicians in Norway drew up a list of demands to be met for a bid to go ahead, including a respect for human rights, a workers' charter and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) paying its own costs.
With politicians unwilling to commit their support for Oslo 2022, public opposition has grown louder.
One poll this summer suggested only three out of every 10 Norwegians supported the bid.
Speaking to insidethegames in August about that poll, Oslo 2022 chief executive Eli Grimsby, said: "After Sochi  there were a lot of doubts, but there are less people saying no, we have seen that in June and July, and this is only one poll.
"On the other hand, it is not such a big surprise as we know the Norwegian people.
"Yes, we love winter sport, but we also love to debate and we are a skeptical people."
She added: "I think when we come out with the right facts about the budget, cost, concept and the IOC, I am quite sure the support will increase."
And in a further sign of confidence, just today, the Oslo Municipality and the Ministry of Culture agreed "cost allocation, organisation and risk sharing for [the] Oslo Olympics in 2022".
Making that announcement, Røsland said: "We have done this because the investment is reasonable, and the projects we intend to implement anyway.
"It is therefore natural that Oslo is a significant part of the bill."
Oslo was confirmed as candidate city by the IOC on July 7, together with Almaty and Beijing.
It was seen as the outsider given the lack of public and Government support.
A final decision on whether the Government was going support the bid had been expected within the next month, before it collapsed today.
The 2022 race has been dogged by bid withdrawals.
Polish city Kraków axed its bid in June after two third of the city's population voted against it in a referendum.
And Sweden's capital Stockholm pulled out of the race in January because of the potential cost of building new facilities.
Norway has hosted the Winter Olympic Games twice before, most recently in Lillehammer in 1994, and in Olso in 1952.
The winning 2022 bid is due to be announced at the IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur on July 31 next year.
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]
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