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Sports Minister Richard Caborn
"The cost wasn't a good investment for British sport"
 real 56k

Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell
"Due to cost and deliverability the Picketts Lock project will not proceed"
 real 14k

UK Athletics chief David Moorcroft
"Hard lessons must be learned"
 real 14k

Former sports minister Tony Banks
"We have a tendency in this country of trying to do things on the cheap"
 real 56k

Friday, 5 October, 2001, 13:49 GMT 14:49 UK
Picketts Lock's path to oblivion
BBC Sport Online charts the events that led to Picketts Lock being scrapped as the site for the 2005 World Athletics Championships.

Summer 1999 - Tony Banks meets IAAF president Primo Nebiolo and does a deal for London to get the 2005 World Athletics Championships by allowing Paris a 'free ride' for 2003.

July 1999 - Sports Minister Kate Hoey is told by Wembley chief executive Bob Stubbs that the scheme to erect a temporary platform for athletics will cost 40m.

  In the dock
Chris Smith - Created the need for Picketts Lock by removing athletics from the Wembley plan
Kate Hoey - Sidelined after making enemies in football by questioning why Wembley was not to be a multi-sport venue
Trevor Brooking - Refused to commit Sport England to a 60m share of the funding
Richard Caborn - Arrived on the scene after the general election in June when the damage was already done
Patrick Carter - Gave the government the bad news that Picketts Lock would cost more than originally estimated

December 1999 - Culture Secretary Chris Smith orders Wembley to be developed for football only, leaving athletics without a venue.

March 2000 - Picketts Lock is officially named as the site for the stadium that forms the centrepiece of London's bid for 2005.

The site beats competition from Twickenham, Hillingdon, Northolt, Crystal Palace and Hackney.

Plans include a 50,000-capacity, purpose-built athletics stadium with warm-up track and a railway station.

April 2000 - The IAAF confirms London as the venue for 2005, but doubts soon surface about the funding of the project, the lack of transport links and the prospect of an empty athletes' village after the championships.

October 2000 - Newspaper reports suggest Wembley could again be considered to host athletics because Picketts Lock is 50m short and would face running costs of 1m a year.

March 2001 - The design for the Lee Valley National Athletics Centre at Picketts Lock is unveiled.

"The stadium is the best thing to happen to athletics in the UK for a long time," says Chris Smith.

Sport England chairman Trevor Brooking and Smith disagree over funding in front of the select committee on Culture, Media and Sport.

Gerald Kaufman, chairman of the committee, describes the funding plan as "a very mysterious transaction".

David Moorcroft and Chris Smith
Moorcroft and Smith were optimistic at first
May 2001 - Home Secretary Jack Straw appoints millionaire businessman Patrick Carter to look at the options for both Wembley and Picketts Lock as projected costs spiral.

Chris Smith announces an 8m boost for Picketts Lock from the Government's Capital Modernisation Fund.

"All the indications are that it will go ahead," said UK Athletics chief executive David Moorcroft.

September 2001 - Carter reports that Picketts Lock would cost 110 million, rather than the original estimate from Chris Smith of 87m.

October 2001 - The government scraps the Picketts Lock plan and fails to convince the IAAF to move the world championships to Sheffield.

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