By Duncan Mackay in Lausanne
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year
January 13 - Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron should intervene to prevent Tottenham Hotspur being given the Olympic Stadium after London 2012, Alan Pascoe said today.
The former hurdler, who was vice-chairman of London 2012 during the successful bid, claimed that Britain's reptutation would be ruined if the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) overlooked West Ham United's bid and instead chose Premier League rivals Tottenham.
It would also seriously affect Britain's ability to bid for major events, Pascoe warned.
"It is a disgrace that this situation is even being considered," Pascoe told insidethegames in an interview by Alan Hubbard for a blog published today.
"If you drew up a list on the benefits of the Tottenham bid, the only thing in the plus column would be saving £100 million for the money men at Spurs, against, on the other side, a multi-sports stadium that is there with all the facilities for all the young people and the community of East London.
"Spending half a billion pounds on building a stadium for 12 months, then knocking it down, would make us a laughing stock in the world of sport.
"It would be internationally embarrassing not to have a stadium capable of staging a major athletics championships in London.
"The commitment that was made - and I was part of it as bid vice-chairman - brilliantly fronted by Seb [Lord Coe] and supported by all of the team in Singapore, some of whom are in the Tottenham camp now, was that we would have an Olympic Stadium with a proper legacy.
"If we now allow the stadium to be knocked down I do not think we would have any credibility in being able to bid for anything significant in the future without people saying: 'But you don't keep your word.'
"I think David Cameron has got to step in and stop this happening. If it was just about money then we shouldn't have bid for the Games in the first place, but it is actually about a huge investment in the east end of London and the infrastructure of a sport in this country and the entire credibility of sport here, especially when people are realising that sport is at the heart and soul of every nation."
Pascoe, the 1972 Olympic silver medallist and now the chairman of marketing firm Fast Track, claimed that athletics would be the biggest loser if Tottenham's plan to rip down the Stadium and rebuild it without a track is chosen.
"Nine years ago we were lamenting the fact that we'd won the World Athletics Championships and then had to give it back as we wouldn't have a stadium because of the Pickett's Lock fiasco," said Pascoe.
"The Prime Minister [Tony Blair] had actually committed us to the championships in writing.
"I found it hard to believe then that sport could be stabbed in the back so cold-bloodedly.
"Now here we are again."
Pascoe also criticised Mike Lee (pictured), the former communications director of London 2012 who helped craft the message about legacy is now working for Tottenham on its Stadium plan.
"I find it slightly strange that he is now lining up against Seb when he was the man spinning for him in the 2012 bid," said Pascoe.
"But no amount of spin can get away from the fact that this is about the money men of Spurs against the kids of this country.
"Fortunately we are seeing a groundswell of opinion building in opposition to the Spurs bid, not least from the athletes themselves - people like Denise Lewis, Kelly Holmes and Daley Thompson, and also through the fans' websites at Spurs."
But Jacques Rogge, the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), revealed that he would not intervene in the row to ensure that London keeps its bid promises.
"We would favour a solution with a track legacy – that goes without saying," Rogge told insidethegames here after the end of a meeting of the IOC's ruling Executive Board.
"But the decision is in the hands of the Olympic Park Legacy Company along with UK Athletics and LOCOG.
"If a solution could be found for the track we would be happy, but don't expect the IOC to intervene in an issue where we are not responsible."
To read the full blog click here.
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]
January 2011: Head of IOC Athletes' Commission joins call for Olympic Stadium to keep track after London 2012
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January 2011: Spurs sign up Mike Lee to run Olympic Stadium campaign
January 2011: Coe backs West Ham United plan to take over Olympic Stadium