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Monday, 27 January, 2003, 10:58 GMT
Athletics boss boosts London bid
Bringing the Olympics to London could cost 2.6bn
Some of world sport's top brass think London should bid
World athletics chief Lamine Diack has urged the British Government to back a London bid to stage the Olympics in 2012.

A decision on whether to support a bid is expected to be taken by the Cabinet on Thursday.

And International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) president Diack insisted the government should follow public opinion.

Any of the bidding cities would have a chance but London has not organised the Olympics since 1948

IAAF boss Lamine Diack

"I have read in the newspapers that public opinion is for having the Olympic Games," said Diack.

"I would be surprised if the government does not support the bid because I have seen that 80% of public opinion is in favour.

"I don't think London can say 'I am not interested' because, like New York, Madrid and Moscow, it is a big city."

Diack described London as "one of the most iconic cities in the world" and said the fact that Britain had not hosted the Games in the past 25 years would boost its chances.

"Any of the bidding cities would have a chance, but London has not organised the Olympics since 1948," he told The Times newspaper.

"Spain held the Olympics in 1992 and Moscow in 1980 [Atlanta did so in 1996]. I think there is a chance for London."

Asked if he thought it was London's turn, Diack added: "That is my reaction.

"Britain is a big country which is very fond of sport and which organised the first Olympics after the Second World War, which was not easy."

 VOTE RESULTS
Should London bid for the 2012 Olympics?

Yes
 67.55% 

No
 32.45% 

8763 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

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21 Nov 02 | Politics
24 Jan 03 | Sport Front Page
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