DES MOINES, Iowa — The U.S. Olympic Committee's executive board will choose its candidate for the 1998 Olympic Winter Games Sunday from among four cities--Anchorage, Denver, Reno-Tahoe and Salt Lake City.
Anchorage represented the United States in bidding for the 1992 and 1994 Winter Games but was not selected on either occasion by the International Olympic Committee. The Alaska city's bid committee has been criticized by U.S. winter sports federations and athletes for not building training facilities.
According to USOC sources, the influential site selection committee favors Salt Lake City or Denver. The committee is expected to make a recommendation to the executive board before Sunday's vote.
An IOC vice president, Richard Pound of Canada, said Denver would face an obstacle internationally because it returned the 1976 Winter Olympics to the IOC after Colorado voters rejected them in a 1972 statewide referendum.
The IOC will choose the 1998 winter site in 1991. The only city to announce its candidacy is Nagano, Japan. The Winter Games already have been awarded to Albertville, France, in 1992 and to Lillehammer, Norway, in 1994, when they begin an alternating schedule with the Summer Games.
Also on the agenda this weekend is a move by USOC Executive Director Baaron Pittenger, who will seek ratification from the executive board for a proposed drug-testing agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union.
Random testing involving athletes from those countries is tentatively scheduled to begin in July, but USOC President Robert Helmick said Friday that some U.S. sports federations might seek a delay until they are satisfied with the details.