BERLIN (Reuters) - Russian Olympic chief Alexander Zhukov has been picked to head the team that will evaluate the 2022 winter Olympic bids ahead of next year's decision, the International Olympic Committee said on Monday.
Zhukov, a former Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation who became an IOC member in 2013, has fresh experience from organizing Games, having played a key part in the $50-billion 2014 Sochi Olympics.
Norway's Oslo, Beijing and Kazakhstan's Almaty are the three cities short-listed as bidders for the 2022 winter Olympics.
The IOC will elect the winning bid at its session in Kuala Lumpur next year with the evaluation team staging visits to the three candidates and drafting a report for voting IOC members before the election.
Other members of the 12-member evaluation commission include Japan Olympic chief Tsunekazu Takeda, who is a vice president of the organizing committee for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and Barry Maister, a former Olympic field hockey champion and head of the New Zealand Olympic Committee.
The 2022 bidders have until Jan. 7, 2015 to submit their candidature files with the IOC staging evaluation visits in February and March.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Ed Osmond)