West Ham's Olympic stadium plan angers Kelly Sotherton
Sotherton says handing the stadium to West Ham would be "out of order"
Olympic and world heptathlon bronze medallist Kelly Sotherton has hit out at West Ham's plans to take over the Olympic stadium after the 2012 Games.
New Hammers owners David Sullivan and David Gold want to leave Upton Park and lease the newly built stadium in nearby Stratford as the club's new home.
However, Sotherton insists the stadium should remain an athletics venue.
"The legacy should be athletics. It's out of order that football think they can just come and have it," she said.
"We don't have a national athletics stadium and we need one. We lost our last big stadium to Manchester City in 2002 after a great Commonwealth Games and the fear is now that we'll lose another one to football.
"I'm a massive fan of football and a big Arsenal fan, but at the end of the day it's our stadium and I think the legacy is to enable us to stage future world and commonwealth championships - who knows, maybe another Olympics.
"To have an Olympic stadium turned into a football stadium by a club struggling near the foot of the Premier League, it's out of order."
West Ham's plans have already met opposition from outside the world of football, with Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell, ex-London mayor Ken Livingstone and UK Athletics chairman Ed Warner among those speaking out against the move.
One of the arguments is that London would not have won the 2012 Games had the Olympic committee heard that the stadium would be turned into a football ground.
Sullivan and Gold remain unperturbed, though, and are confident a deal can be struck.
Gold believes the deterioration of the specialist athletics track at Crystal Palace provides an example that an athletics stadium, in itself, is unsustainable.
However, Sotherton told BBC Five Live: "Of course athletics can't use it every week, but I'm sure uses can be found for it in the off-season - rock concerts for example.
"We just don't have a stadium that replicates the size and grandeur of an Olympic stadium. It's something the sport desperately needs."
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