Paris' Mayor Anne Hidalgo has been forced to cancel plans to travel here for the Winter Youth Olympic Games to promote the French capital's campaign to host the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics because she was warned she would have been in breach of strict rules on bidding.
Paris, along with its rivals Budapest, Los Angeles and Rome, received letters from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) last month ordering them not to send representatives to Lillehammer 2016.
Only officials who were either members of the IOC and connected to the bid or were representing their National Olympic Committee would be allowed to come here, the letter said.
Hidalgo still planned to travel to Norway following a personal invitation from Lillehammer Mayor Espen Johnsen.
That, however, was blocked by the IOC and she pulled out of the trip earlier this week.
Tony Estanguet, the triple Olympic canoeing gold medallist, the co-chairman of Paris 2024, was forced to inform several IOC members who Hidalgo was planning to meet her that she would no longer be coming.
IOC President Thomas Bach has denied, hoewever, that the bid cities are not welcome.
“There is no ban for the bid cities here,” Bach said when quizzed by insidethegames.
“We have the regulations and we are trying to make bidding for the Olympic Games as least expensive as possible.
“In the context of Olympic Agenda 2020, the presence of candidate cities at events has been drastically reduced.”
Yet, such are the four cities fears they will fall foul of the IOC's draconian regulations on bidding, the London-based communications firm employed by Paris 2024 have been sending journalists press releases about the presence of senior French officials here without even mentioning the bid.
The IOC are allegedly concerned about the four bid cities attending here as they were worried they would steal the limelight from the 1,100 athletes who will participate in the second edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games by dominating the media coverage of the event.
One of the proposals in the IOC's Agenda 2020, the strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement, includes a series of provisions aimed at cutting costs in the bid process.
Up to 75 IOC members are due here over the course of the Games, the majority of them arriving for the Opening Ceremony tonight.
A second, smaller, wave of members are expected to visit Lillehammer next week.
The IOC is due to elect its chosen host city at its Session in Peruvian capital Lima in 2017.