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BOA Olympic 2012 cash row with Locog intensifies


IOC intervene in 2012 cash row

By David Bond
BBC sports editor

The International Olympic Committee has been asked to settle an escalating row over finance between two of the main bodies responsible for London 2012.

The British Olympic Association (BOA) and the London Organising Committee (Locog) are at war over funding.

The BOA, which is also looking to fill a gap in its budget ahead of the Games, feels it deserves a bigger cut of any surplus once the 2012 showpiece ends.

But Locog disagrees, saying the deal it struck with the BOA in 2004 is "fair".

The BOA gave its reasons for seeking the intervention of the IOC in a statement issued on Wednesday.

This is about protecting the future for athletes, for Olympic sport and for our national governing bodies

BOA statement

"As the National Olympic Committee, our principal responsibility is to safeguard future opportunities for Olympic athletes and sport throughout the United Kingdom," it read.

"We are engaged in a formal process to ensure that any surplus resulting from the London 2012 Olympic Games is used for precisely those purposes.

"Quite simply, our objective is this: to guarantee that the London 2012 Olympic Games deliver a meaningful post-Games legacy that is beneficial to Olympic sport and athletes, present and future, throughout the UK.

"This is about protecting the future for athletes, for Olympic sport and for our national governing bodies. We are doing exactly what every national Olympic committee is expected to do we: we are safeguarding a future sports legacy in our country.

"We have taken these steps with the full support and direction of our board of directors. We are confident an amicable and equitable resolution will be reached."

Locog issued its own statement, rejecting BOA's claims.

"The vision for London 2012, created by the BOA, Government and the Mayor of London and set out in the bid book is for one festival of sport, with an integrated Olympic and Paralympic Games, underpinned by a single budget," it read.


"It is sad that this vision is now disputed by the new leadership of the BOA. We are grateful that the IOC is helping to resolve the issue."

And Locog's stance was supported by the British Paralympic Association (BPA).

"The BPA remains supportive of the original vision for a festival of sport integrating both the Olympic and Paralympic Games," a statement read.

"We are confident that when 2012 comes, the nation will embrace the Games, take the British teams to their hearts and appreciate the Paralympic Games as the truly parallel, elite sporting event they are."

The IOC has confirmed it has been asked to intervene in the matter.

"The IOC was asked by both parties to look at how a potential surplus from the games would be defined and to offer both parties the opportunity to make their case," read a statement.

"Ultimately, the agreement allows for the IOC to take a decision that would be final and binding on the parties and the IOC intends to take this decision in line with the Joint Marketing Programme Agreement [JMPA]."

The BOA sold the marketing rights for the use of the Olympic brand in Great Britain to Locog for about £30m in 2004.

This JPMA covered a seven-year period in the run-up to the 2012 Games.

However, BOA chief executive Andy Hunt, who did not join the association until 2008, has always argued that the agreement is worth more money.

This has absolutely nothing to do with addressing our funding requirements for 2011 and 2012

BOA statement

He said: "We inherited an extremely poor deal... we believe the Brazilian Olympic committee can expect to receive more than £100m through its JMPA with the Rio 2016 organisers."

Locog argues that the deal with the BOA is a fair one, while former sports minister Richard Caborn suggested the BOA needed to take a more rigorous look at its finances.

The row threatens preparations for Team GB at next summer's Olympics, although the BOA played down those concerns.

"This has absolutely nothing to do with addressing our funding requirements for 2011 and 2012," read its statement.

"We have a plan in place to generate those revenues and are confident we will do so."

The BOA plans to support about 550 athletes and 450 support staff at the London Games, providing training advice, medical assistance and a holding camp.

But given it does not receive any money from the government, its funding comes entirely from commercial sponsorship and fundraising.

The row could continue after the IOC has made its ruling, with BOA chairman Lord Moynihan threatening to take Locog to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) if the judgment does not go in his favour.

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see also
Minister urges Team GB change
10 Mar 11 |  Northern Ireland
Team GB bosses clash in cash row
03 Mar 11 |  London 2012
Team GB facing financial crisis
02 Mar 11 |  London 2012
Olympic sports get funding boost
10 Dec 09 |  Olympics
BOA issues team funding warning
20 Oct 09 |  Olympics
BOA helped out by emergency loan
18 Jun 09 |  Olympics
London 2012 'on time and budget'
23 Apr 09 |  London

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