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Last Updated: Monday, 3 April 2006, 11:20 GMT 12:20 UK
Coe dismisses 2bn overrun claims
Lord Coe
Coe wants Olympic facilities completed as quickly as possible
London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe has rejected claims that the cost of preparing infrastructure for the Games could increase by 2bn.

Sunday papers quoted David Higgins, chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority, as saying redevelopment funds would be higher than anticipated.

But on Monday Lord Coe hit back, saying: "David Higgins did not say there was a 2bn overrun.

"This is not what he said and he did not mention a figure."

Coe insisted that London Games organisers had purchased land in the Lower Lea Valley area of east London and carried out necessary preparations early enough to avoid any potential budget overruns.

The ODA is responsible for building and delivering key Games venues and was formally established when the London Olympic and Paralympic Games bill was passed through parliament last week.

Coe said that Higgins has been talking about projects that were not directly linked to the Games, but were part of a wider redevelopment programme.

"We've got work going on, as one would expect, and we must work on maximising the legacy use. What David Higgins was talking about was non-Olympics costs," he said.

Coe added that, while he was comfortable with the progress made so far for the Olympics, there was no room for complacency.

"This is never a seamless process," he said. "What is important is to start early and have venues completed early enough to allow for proper testing."

Early completion would allow organisers to focus on the "customer care issues" - the finer touches that would improve the atmosphere of the Games and their subsequent success.



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SEE ALSO
New Wembley may face fresh delays
30 Mar 06 |  Sport Homepage
Mayor makes Olympic Stadium vow
28 Mar 06 |  Olympics 2012
Coe confident of Olympic planning
09 Feb 06 |  Olympics 2012


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