POSTED: May 3rd 2011

Bin Laden death makes no difference to Olympic security alert, says Rogge

London 2012 security concerns for Jacques Rogge after the death of Osama Bin Laden / lake images
London 2012 security concerns for Jacques Rogge after the death of Osama Bin Laden / lake images

LAURA WALDEN in Doha / Sports Features Communications

DOHA, May 03: Security at next year's 2012 Olympic Games will not be affected one way or another by the death of Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden at the hands of United States forces.

That assurance has been delivered by the International Olympic Committee president, Jacques Rogge, who otherwise declined to comment on the news from Pakistan, calling it a 'political issue.'

Rogge commented that the IOC's security strategy has remained the same ever since the killing of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches at the 1972 Munich Games and will remain as tight as ever in London.

"Security has always been our concern," said Rogge said in Doha, where he had been attending the 9th IOC Sport and the Environment Congress. "Right from the Munich Games, we've been giving top priority to it. But as far as enhancing security is concerned, it's up to the respective governments and associations to take care of it."

British security services' awareness of the terrorist threat had been brought home the day after London had been awarded the Games in July 2005, when 52 people died in attacks on the city's transport network.

The cost of policing - some 9,000 officers will be on daily duty - has been estimated at more than £700m. This is in line with British government statements that the national terror threat will remain at the 'severe' level during the Olympics, just one strand below the most extreme level of 'critical' and meaning an attack is 'highly likely.'

In a separate statement, the IOC said: "Security at the Games is the responsibility of the local authorities, and we have no doubt that our current partners will be up to the task. The Games are a celebration of peace. We look forward to that spirit being respected during future editions."

Keywords · IOC · Rogge · London 2012 · Bin Laden

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