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Tuesday, 14 January, 2003, 09:31 GMT
British bid gets Rogge backing
IOC chief Jacques Rogge
Rogge says London could put in a strong bid
London has a "good chance" of winning the race to host the 2012 Olympic Games, the president of the International Olympic Commission has told the BBC.

IOC boss Jacques Rogge said London's reputation, the passion of the population for sport and the success of the Manchester Commonwealth Games would work in its favour.

And the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) urged the Government not to assume that Paris or Madrid would definitely succeed ahead of London.

"I think you have a good chance of success," Rogge told BBC Radio Five Live

For us it will be very good news if London were to bid

Jacques Rogge

"If everyone works together, there is a strong reputation of the UK in sport.

"You invented modern sport, you have good sports administrators, excellent athletes and if everyone works together, the chances are very good.

Rogge played down fears that London's transport system and infrastructure would not be able to cope with an event as big as an Olympic Games.

"The success of the Sydney Games was based largely on the love of sport of the Australians," he said.

"They had fantastic enthusiasm. If you win you will have a very good legacy for the city."

'Great assets'

Rogge said there was no guarantee that money spent on an Olympic bid would secure the games - but stressed a strong, well-argued case would give London a good chance.

"You have the potential to win the bid. It's always going to be strong competition against New York, Moscow, or any Spanish or German city," he said.

"But you start with great assets.The trick is to pull everything together.

"I think for us it will be very good news if London were to bid. Because we want good bids and we want to be able to make the best possible chance."

Members of the IOC were meeting with the British Olympic Association and the House of Commons culture committee on Tuesday to discuss a potential bid.

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IOC President Jacques Rogge
"London has a good chance of success"

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