France has created a sports agency to promote itself internationally for ventures such as Annecy's bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Annecy's bid has struggled against rival candidates Munich and Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Bid leader Edgar Grospiron resigned last month and has been replaced by French businessman Charles Beigbeder.

The Paris-based agency is the idea of French IOC member Guy Drut and has been approved by sports minister Chantal Jouanno.

Jouanno says the agency will "continue the international work carried out by the Annecy candidature" and help develop strategies for "big sporting events" in the future.

The IOC will select the 2018 host city on July 6 at its meeting in Durban, South Africa.