Rome Mayoral candidate Virginia Raggi has reaffirmed her opposition to the city's 2024 Olympic and Paralympic bid following a key meeting with Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) President Giovanni Malago today.
Raggi has become a potential thorn in the side of the Italian capital's efforts after emerging as the front-runner in the race to become Mayor.
The Five Star Movement politician claimed last month that pressing ahead with a bid at time of economic turmoil would constitute "mortgaging the future of residents".
She has reiterated this stance in recent days, citing issues including "garbage, transport, schools, social services and public space" as being more important than the 2024 bid.
If elected on June 5, it is difficult to see how Rome's bid could continue without the support of the city's most high-profile elected official.
This is a very real possibility as Raggi, whose party is led by comedian and blogger Beppe Grillo, is ahead in public opinion polls.
"It's been a cordial meeting, we talked about sports, Rome and the Olympics," she said today to Italian media following two hours of discussions with Malago.
"We have reiterated our line: there is no prejudice against the Games but we have to think about the ordinary.
"Then we will also evaluate the extraordinary."
Rome 2024 director general Diana Bianchedi, a double Olympic fencing gold medallist, was also present at the meeting.
All other Mayoral candidates - Giorgia Meloni, Alfio Marchini, Stefano Fassina and Roberto Giachetti, who represents the Democratic Party led by Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi - are pro-Rome 2024.
Raggi, however, has been tipped to win in a second round head-to-head run-off with either Giachetti or Meloni.
Olympic bid officials have met or are due to meet with all of the other candidates.
Renzi is another strong supporter of the bid, having visited Olympic capital Lausanne to meet with International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach earlier this year.
It is claimed Raggi could become more supportive if elected, but this would represent a major U-turn after her fierce criticism.
It is also still possible that a referendum on the bid could go ahead.
The Rome Municipality's Capital Committee on Referendums ruled last month that a ballot calling for one was legal following its submission by the Italian Radicals Political Party.
Thirty thousand signatures are required.
Rome has not had a Mayor since October, when Ignazio Marino was forced from office amid corruption allegations.
Elsewhere, Rome 2024 continued their campaigning by releasing a picture of Italian football manager Claudio Ranieri, who has masterminded one of the most remarkable sporting stories this season by guiding 5000-1 outsiders Leicester City to the English Premier League title ahead of the club's powerful and wealthy rivals.
The 64-year-old Rome born coach - who played for and has managed the city's team AS Roma - is shown meeting Bid President Luca di Montezemolo while wearing a rosette featuring the Rome 2024 logo.
He returned to Italy to receive the Enzo Bearzot award - given to the best Italian coach of the season.
"Ranieri would be an important ambassador for Rome 2024 for three reasons," said Di Montezemolo.
"He’s born in Rome, he’s a great sportsman and third, he is a great example of a winning Italian."
Budapest, Los Angeles and Paris are also bidding for the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics ahead of an IOC decision in Lima next year.