There will be no bid presentations from either Almaty or Beijing, the two candidates in the race for the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, during April's SportAccord Convention in what marks a break from previous campaigns, insidethegames has been told.
The annual Convention, first held in 2003 and due to take place in Sochi this year from April 19 to 24, has long been a key stepping stone in bidding contests, including two years ago in the race for the 2020 Olympics, where Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo were each allocated 20 minutes to present their bids to delegates in St Petersburg.
Many people believe that the momentum that eventually led to the Japanese capital being awarded the Games for the first time since 1964 began to really gathering pace after their SportAccord Convention presentation as Istanbul's bid was hit by domestic problems.
Only three presentation opportunities will occur in future races.
These are the Association of National Olympic Committees General Assembly, already held in Bangkok last November, an International Olympic Committee (IOC) Candidate City Briefing, taking place in Lausanne on June 9, and then at the IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur on July 31 where the winning candidate will be selected.
There had been some ambiguity here among officials as to whether such a presentation will also take place in Sochi during the Convention, but an IOC spokesperson has now confirmed to insidethegames that this is not the case.
The spokesperson added that this was a direct consequence of Agenda 2020, which has also seen the IOC take over the costs of bid presentations from the candidates, as well as funding the ongoing Evaluation Commission inspection visit here and in Beijing next month.
The change puts much more emphasis on June's behind closed doors Candidate City Briefing, which - along with the already submitted Bid Books and the Evaluation Commission report, due to be circulated in May or June - will be a major source of information for voting members.
According to the Agenda 2020 recommendation, it is also possible presentations could be made to the Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations alongside the IOC in Lausanne.
The decision not to allow presentations at the SportAccord Convention will, however, deny many key figures associated with the Olympics, Paralympics and international sport their only opportunity to hear the plans of the candidate cities.
Almaty 2022 vice-chairman Andrey Kryukov has, however, told insidethegames that they still see the event in Sochi as a key part of preparations, and will be sending a strong delegation.
February 2015: Nick Butler: Almaty 2022 have showcased an impressive bid but much work remains
February 2015: IOC Evaluation Commission arrive in Almaty to begin reformed 2022 inspection process
January 2015: Almaty and Beijing pledge February 2022 Winter Olympic dates - risking FIFA World Cup clash
January 2015: Cost efficiency and sustainability key themes in Almaty and Beijing bid books for 2022 Winter Olympics
January 2015: Beijing and Almaty submit Candidature Files for 2022 Winter Olympics