BBC Home > BBC Sport > London 2012

Olympic chief Jacques Rogge snubbed in Olympic cash row

22 March 11 17:35 GMT

By James Pearce
BBC sports news correspondent

The full extent of the snub by the British Olympic Association to the International Olympic Committee during the current row over any financial surplus from London 2012 can be revealed by the BBC.

BBC Sport has seen a copy of the full transcript of the IOC's judgement in the dispute between the BOA and Locog, the London 2012 organising committee.

It reveals how the BOA rejected a personal intervention by IOC president Jacques Rogge to settle the matter amicably.

The IOC president had invited both the BOA chairman Lord Moynihan and the Locog chairman Lord Coe to a meeting in Lausanne on 7 March.

But just days before the meeting was due to take place the BOA informed the other parties that it would not be attending.

The BBC understands that senior staff at London 2012 were furious at this late cancellation. Lord Coe had cleared his diary so that he could travel to Lausanne for the day, and it is likely that the IOC would have been similarly displeased.

The BOA's explanation for avoiding a meeting at IOC headquarters was that it wanted the dispute to be settled instead by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The BOA is entitled to 20% of any surplus from the 2012 Games, but there is disagreement over whether that should mean just the Olympics, or also include the Paralympics.

The cash-strapped BOA had been hoping to raise millions of pounds by taking its share from the Olympics, before any money had been spent on the Paralympics.

Following the cancellation of the 7 March meeting, the IOC decided that, in the absence of an amicable settlement, it should pass down a binding judgement.

That happened last week when the IOC ruled in favour of Locog, insisting that the budgets for London's Olympics and Paralympics should not be separated.

The BOA has refused to accept the IOC's judgement and has taken the dispute to CAS in Lausanne.

The judgement, though, could hardly be more clear-cut, and will raise serious questions about the BOA's decision to take the argument to CAS. The BOA has already hired David Pannick, one of the country's best known lawyers, to present its case.

The IOC's decision, laid out over nine pages, makes it clear that the BOA should have no claim over any surplus before the Paralympics has also been taken into account.

The judgement states that for the past 10 years all Olympic and Paralympic Games have been organised on 'an integrated basis'.

The IOC would actually be a beneficiary from any ruling in favour of the BOA, as the IOC is also entitled to a 20% cut of any surplus, but the IOC says that it "cannot and does not" accept the BOA's definition.

The final paragraph of the judgment sums up the IOC's decision: "The IOC has no hesitation to determine that the word 'surplus' has to be interpreted as the financial result of staging the Olympic and Paralympic Games combined.

"The IOC feels comfortable to do so as the parties and their leaders at the time, which were familiar with the organisation of previous Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, cannot have understood it differently."

On Wednesday there will be a meeting of the BOA's executive board.

Following the strength of this IOC judgement, and the damage that the row has already caused, it would not be surprising if some board members urged Lord Moynihan to end this dispute before any more damage is done to the organisation's reputation and its finances.

Share this

Related BBC sites