Coe backs West Ham Olympic Stadium bid

02 January 2011 04:00

Sebastian Coe has effectively thrown his weight behind West Ham's bid to move to the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games.

West Ham and Tottenham are vying for the right to move into the stadium but the Hammers would keep the running track while Spurs would not - they would instead develop an alternative athletics legacy, possibly at Crystal Palace.

Coe said: "We are told that West Ham are happy to play football within a track and Tottenham have clearly said they are not. Conclude from that what you want."

The Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) are due to make a decision before March and Coe, chairman of the London organising committee, made little secret of where his sympathies lie, although he stressed he has no part in the decision-making process.

Coe said: "We made a commitment to track and field to be a part of the legacy of the stadium so, as vice-president of the IAAF, it's not going to come as a huge shock that I am going to defend and help my sport."

Coe confirmed that West Ham's proposal was in line with the promises London 2012 made to the IOC in Singapore when they won the contest to host the Olympics and he also said the OPLC would in part make their decision based on bid commitments.

He added: "It [West Ham's proposal] lives with the commitment we made in Singapore.

"We have had assurances that the tenders will be underpinned by the recognition that commitments were made to the IOC and to the international federations about a track and field legacy, and we have no reason to believe the OPLC will do anything to contradict that."

Coe also looked ahead to 2011 and despite building work on all venues being on schedule, or in many cases ahead of schedule, warned there can be no room for complacency.

He said: "I think this will be our toughest year so far. In many respects it will be much more pressured because we are getting to the business end of the project. Just because the building work has finished does not mean all these venues magically become Olympic venues."

Source: PA