Sapporo’s efforts to revive its bid for the 2030 Winter Games may not be working.

The newly reelected president of the Japanese Olympic Committee, Yasuhiro Yamashita, is continuing to raise doubts about Sapporo staying in the race for the next Winter Games to be awarded, according to Kyodo News.

“Under the current circumstances, 2030 will be quite hard,” Yamashita said. “The International Olympic Committee highly regards Japan’s ability to manage sporting events but attaches great importance to the approval rating of each host candidate.”

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Sapporo is facing competition from Salt Lake City, which has stated a preference for hosting in 2034; Vancouver, Canada; and late entries from Sweden and Switzerland as well as a sixth country that the IOC has declined to disclose.

Earlier this month, Japanese Olympic officials suggested Sapporo’s bid might be delayed until 2034 or later because of lagging public support amid the ongoing bribery and bid-rigging scandal involving organizers of the 2020 Summer Games held in Tokyo in 2021.

Since then, a new poll shows there may be renewed interest in Sapporo’s bid and this week, city officials released plans intended to prevent another scandal, including more public involvement and stronger oversight.

None that seems to have swayed Yamashita, however.

“Trust in the Olympics is declining,” he said after winning a third term. “It’s necessary to have a legacy that takes root and makes people think in 10 years’ time or 20 years’ time, it was good to host the Tokyo Olympics.”

Kyodo News, citing unnamed sources, said the IOC “appears to have shifted its focus to other candidates as the scandals have eroded support for another Olympics in Japan so soon.”

Mark Conrad, director of the sports program at Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business in New York City, said the IOC is counting on Sweden’s bid to come through for 2030.

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“Then I think Salt Lake really would be the favorite for ’34,” he said, even if Sapporo ends up bidding for 2034. Earlier this year, he said such a scenario could mean Salt Lake City, which hosted the 2002 Winter Games, might not see another Olympics until 2038 or beyond.

But that’s no longer likely, Conrad said, given the contrast he sees between the two bids.

“The bid in Salt Lake and the powers over there seem very unified. The public support is there,” the professor said. A Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics poll in January found that more than 80% of Utahns are eager for another Olympics.

Utah bidders have also made it clear that while Salt Lake City is ready to host in 2030 if needed, it would be better financially to wait until 2034 to avoid competing for domestic sponsors with the 2028 Summer Games in Los Angeles.

With Sapporo, Conrad said there’s “this whole issue about, is Sapporo there for ’30, is it not there for ’30? You read by the day different people saying different things. So it’s getting a little bit vague and maybe vague enough to be discomforting for the IOC.”

IOC leaders could name their “preferred” host cities for both 2030 and 2034 as soon as October. A final vote by the full IOC membership on the upcoming Winter Games hosts is expected next year, before the 2024 Summer Games in Paris.