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IOC favour Locog over BOA in London 2012 Games cash row

18 March 11 17:06 GMT

The International Olympic Committee has come down in favour of the London Organising Committee (Locog) in its row over funding for the 2012 Games.

The British Olympic Association (BOA) feels its cut of any surplus should be based only on the Olympic Games.

But the IOC has backed the position of Locog, who believe the deal it struck with the BOA in 2004 is "fair".

The BOA will now press ahead with its plan to take the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas).

Based in Lausanne, the court is the final adjudicator in disagreements between sporting bodies or individuals.

"Decisions made by CAS are final and binding, and CAS is the agreed forum for resolution as specified by the Olympic Charter and the key contractual agreements between the various Olympic stakeholders," read a BOA statement.

"We are confident this will result in a solution that is equitable for all, and will ensure the London 2012 Olympic Games serve as a catalyst for the continued growth of sport, and expanded levels of support for athletes, throughout the UK. This will be achieved by ensuring that surplus revenues from the Olympic Games are designated for exactly these purposes."

The BOA, which has financial problems, is still working to raise money to support Team GB during the 2012 Games.

The case centres on whether the BOA is entitled to a share of the surplus from the Olympics alone, or the Games and Paralympics combined - a crucial distinction because the Paralympics will need to be subsidised, whereas the Olympics could turn a small profit.

As far as the IOC are concerned, though, the two Games are tied together.

"The IOC was asked to reach a final and binding decision on how the surplus of the Games should be defined," it said in a statement.

"Having studied the documents and the past recent history of the Games bidding process, we have decided that the word 'surplus' clearly represents the financial results from the staging of the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games combined.

"The IOC would like to see a swift resolution to this dispute - to allow all parties to concentrate on delivering what will be outstanding Games in London next year."

In response, Locog - chaired by Lord Sebastian Coe - issued a statement reading: "This is a narrow technical point which does not affect the staging of the Games next year nor the preparations of the British athletes.

"We are pleased that the IOC has ruled on this technical point confirming we should continue to determine any surplus on the basis of combined costs and revenues from both the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

"Now this is settled we look forward to moving ahead together with the BOA to realise our shared vision of hosting a spectacular Olympic and Paralympic Games."

Many have argued that the harmony around the Olympic project is being jeopardised to protect the organisation's finances.

But the BOA insist they "enjoy an outstanding working relationship at every level of engagement" of Locog, adding: "A difference of opinion on one issue - albeit an important issue - is in no way typical or representative of the relationship between our two organisations."

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