2012 chiefs slam BOA as row ignites

LONDON 2012 organisers LOCOG last night hit back at the British Olympic Association (BOA) in an increasingly bitter row over cash, calling its complaints “sad”.

The hard-up BOA, chaired by Lord Moynihan, believes it was short-changed when it sold marketing rights to next year’s Games to LOCOG for £28m in 2004.

Chief executive Andy Hunt, who did not join the BOA until four years later, wants LOCOG to compensate for that by providing a large cut of the profits from the event.

With the two main bodies responsible for the London Games at loggerheads, the BOA has taken the extraordinary step of asking the International Olympic Committee to mediate. But a LOCOG spokesperson said: “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 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.”

The BOA, criticised for failing to control its budget, played down fears it would struggle to fund Team GB at next year’s competition.

A statement read: “Our principal responsibility is to safeguard future opportunities for [UK] Olympic athletes and sport. We are engaged in a process with a view to ensuring that surplus resulting from the London 2012 Olympic Games is available to be used for precisely those purposes.”