POSTED: April 4th 2011

The BOA v LOCOG: Never mind the money, what about the morality . . . ?

Roll up, roll up! London 2012s tickets sale launch
Roll up, roll up! London 2012s tickets sale launch

KEIR RADNEDGE / Sports Features Communications

LONDON, Apr 04: Perceptions of the Paralympics are at risk the longer British sport and the Olympic movement has to endure the financial squabble between the British Olympic Association and the London 2012 organisers.

The BOA claim is easy to understand: it wants to take its profit from the Games without having that sum reduced by what it fears will be a loss from the Paralympics.LOCOG and the International Olympic Committee insist the two events are indivisible. The International Paralympic Committee challenges the BOA's negative expectation.

Former Olympic Minister Tessa Jowell was understating the case when she described the BOA's pursuit of LOCOG in the Court of Arbitration for Sport - whether valid or not - as "unseemly."

It's far more than that. It's close to being insulting and discriminatory.

Equality denied

Of course, the BOA and chairman Lord Moynihan would refute those perceptions. However, its case clearly denies formal equality of status between the Olympics and Paralympics; far worse, its case denies equality of status between Olympics competitors and their Paralympian counterparts.

Moynihan could respond that the BOA would be able to offer more help to Paralympic sport by pursuing a larger, pre-Paralympics settlement. But in this case, surely, the moral issue goes far beyond mere cash in the bank.

The BOA's action - unintentionally, one must assume - is devaluing the event in such a highly public way as to possibly even affect ticket sales (and increase the likelihood of losses); it suggests that the Paralympics is very, very much a minor sideshow and that, surely, is quite the opposite of the Olympic ethic . . . to say the least.

Keywords · BOA · LOCOG · Olympic Games · London 2012 · Paralympics

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