Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Supplementary memorandum submitted by the British Olympic Association

  1.  The British Olympic Association (BOA) is disappointed by the decision not to host the World Athletics Championships in London after the abandonment of plans for a national athletics stadium at Picketts Lock. The BOA is concerned about the implications for future bids to host major international sporting events (including the Olympic Games) in the United Kingdom—particularly in London.

  2.  This decision now seems likely to result in the loss of the right to stage the 2005 World Athletics Championships in the UK—an event that was secured for London through a successful bidding process in April 2000.

  3.  The Chief Executive of the BOA, Mr Simon Clegg, stated in a press release on 4 October 2001:

    "If this is the case we will have deprived British athletes of competing in the world's third largest sporting event on home soil with all the competitive advantages that this entails. In addition we will have lost the opportunity of demonstrating to the world that we have the ability to stage major sporting events. Coming so soon after the Wembley fiasco it further damages our international sporting reputation at a time when results at the 2000 Olympic Games suggested we could once again aspire to being a major sporting nation".

  4.  The BOA have spent the last four years engaged in preparatory work assessing the requirements, strategic planning and viability of a future Olympic Games bid for London. The loss of the World Athletics Championships clearly hampers any future Olympic bid from this country. However, the BOA will continue to work in conjunction with the GLA and Government in pursuance of our aspirations to bring the Olympic Games back to this country. This work will, in the short-term, focus on a cost-benefit analysis of a London Games.

  5.  It has been the BOA's approach to this project to be thorough and methodical and to benefit from early preparation. This is to create an environment where decisions can be taken by all key stakeholders with a clear understanding of the issues involved, the requirements needed, the cost implications and the potential benefits to all sections of the community in both sporting and social terms. What is clear is that to have any chance of success, there must be unanimous, unambiguous and unequivocal support from all the key stakeholders in the process.

  6.  The BOA reiterates its position that it will only allow a bid to go forward if it has a realistic chance of success in a competitive bidding environment. Such success will depend on two critical components—the viability of the bid and the ability to convince the IOC electorate.

  7.  In this respect the Picketts Lock decision may affect the way the electorate (the voting members of the IOC who represent the international sporting community) view British sport and, in particular, perceive the commitment from Government to invest the resources necessary to stage a successful Olympic Games in the UK. The BOA will have to make a measured assessment of this in due course. In this respect the decision to sacrifice the World Athletics Championships is extremely unhelpful.

9 October 2001

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