POSTED: January 13th 2011

Rogge insists IOC will not intervene in row over London Olympics stadium

London's 2012 stadium: source of all the fuss / lake images
London's 2012 stadium: source of all the fuss / lake images

KEIR RADNEDGE in Lausanne / Sports Features Communications

LAUSANNE, Jan 13: The International Olympic Committee does not intend to become embroiled in the increasingly tense dispute over the future of the London Games stadium once the 2012 circuit has left town.

President Jacques Rogge left no doubt, after a meeting of the IOC executive board here in Lausanne today, about where all responsibility for resolving the issue must lie: in London itself.

Rogge said: “I know it’s a hotly debated topic. The position of the IOC is very clear: this is not our business. The IOC has no say on what is going to happen with the London stadium.

“We would favour – as outsiders – a solution with a track legacy, that goes almost without saying, but the decision is the hands of the Olympic Park Legacy Company together with UK Athletics and LOCOG and they must take this decision on their own.

“If a solution could be found for the track we would be happy. But don’t expect the IOC to intervene forcibly where we are not concerned.”

The two rivals to take over the stadium site following the Games are two Premier League clubs – the comparatively local West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur from North London. Creating and maintained a major new permanent athletics legacy was one of the features of the successful London bid.

Track defence

West Ham, supported by local Newham Council, have suggested they will keep the track in one form or another; however Tottenham’s proposal involves razing the Olympic venue, building an entirely new stadium solely for football and funding a £20m redevelopment of the old Crystal Palace stadium for athletics.

On Wednesday Frankie Fredericks, chairman of the IOC’s athletes commission and a double track silver medallist in both 1992 and 1996, came down on the side of West Ham “for sentimental reasons as an Olympian.” However even he conceded: “We have been struck by the economic crisis so the London organisers want to do what is best.”

Mike Lee, a former West Ham director who played a significant role in London's 2012 bid, has been commissioned by Tottenham to promote the club's proposal.

Keywords · London 2012 · track · Rogge · IOC · Tottenham · West Ham

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