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UK Athletics boss Warner warns of removing 2012 track

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IOC favours track legacy for 2012 stadium

UK Athletics boss Ed Warner believes it would be a "breach of trust" to remove the track from the Olympic Stadium following London 2012.

Premier League sides Tottenham and West Ham are vying for the right to acquire the site, with the former having stated they intend to take away the track.

"I do think it would be a breach of trust," said Warner.

"Promises were made and the wider sporting community is looking to Britain to stand by those promises."

He added: "The minute you break a promise of that magnitude you can never be trusted again in any bidding process for any major event, and there are a number of IOC members who've made it clear that they voted for London partly because it would leave behind an athletics legacy that the city lacked and that the city deserves."

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Warner is adamant that without the track the city would find it difficult to attract future major athletics championships.

"The United Kingdom doesn't have a great record with the IAAF [world athletics body] in delivering on World Championship bids.

"We want to bring the 2017 World Championships, or if not those then a championship soon after, to London, and it's critical we have a facility that can do that."

Warner said he was riled by football's influence in the matter.

"If you look back at the recent failed bid to bring the football World Cup here, England afterwards had a lot of strong things to say about Fifa and the international football community," he continued.

"Well here's an opportunity for us to shoot ourselves in the foot - led by football. We can't allow ourselves to stoop to the level we've accused others of being at when it comes to international sporting events and bidding processes."

The Olympic Park Legacy Committee (OPLC) is due to recommend who should take over the stadium by 28 January.

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On Thursday, the International Olympic Committee said it would like the running track to be retained, but added that it had no power over the decision.

With the OPLC's decision date looming, Rogge admitted: "We would favour a solution with a track legacy - that goes without saying.

"But the decision is in the hands of the OPLC along with UK Athletics and Locog.

"If a solution could be found for the track we would be happy, but don't expect the IOC to intervene in an issue where we are not responsible."

Any decision will also have to be agreed by London mayor Boris Johnson and the government.

The OPLC has previously made it clear that it is keen to ensure a legacy for athletics at the site, something West Ham's bid appears sympathetic to.

However, Tottenham's architect, David Keirle, made a counter-argument, saying parts of the existing stadium may be taken down and used to help rebuild the Crystal Palace athletics venue, should their bid be favoured.

The Olympic Stadium is not the only option Tottenham are pursuing. Last year they received planning permission from Haringey Council for redeveloping their present home at White Hart Lane, which is called the Northumberland Development Project.



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see also
Fredericks wants 2012 track kept
14 Jan 11 |  London 2012
Spurs 'to dismantle 2012 stadium'
12 Jan 11 |  London
Athletes want stadium legacy met
14 Dec 10 |  London 2012
In Pictures: 2012 stadium lit up
21 Dec 10 |  London
Tottenham stadium plans approved
25 Nov 10 |  Tottenham
Hammers Olympic ground bid backed
11 Oct 10 |  West Ham
Olympic stadium 'must keep track'
07 Oct 10 |  London 2012


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