Sunday 18 February 2018

Athletics chief blasts Spurs' stadium bid

The head of UK Athletics has branded Tottenham's bid to take over London's Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games and remove the running track as "completely unacceptable".

The Spurs/AEG bid is on a shortlist of two against a consortium led by West Ham/Newham Council.

UK Athletics have already formally backed West Ham's bid and chairman Ed Warner told BBC Sport: "Tottenham and AEG have made it clear that they will rip up the track and make it a football-only venue and that is hugely concerning to me.

"It is [essential] for Tottenham and AEG to go back to the original promise made in 2005.

"That was about UK Athletics being at the heart of the Olympic Park."

Spurs' plan is for 80,000-seater football venue while West Ham have put forward plans for a 60,000-capacity stadium for football and athletics, plus community use.

UK Athletics have already had to pull out of a bid to host the 2015 world championships due to uncertainty over the future of the stadium and Warner added: "There was a promise made back in 2005 by London 2012 chief Lord Coe to bring the Olympics to London.

"The greatest city in the world deserves a facility that is capable of hosting world championships and major athletics events. That is really the legacy we need from the Games for our sport.

"We've had sporadic conversations with AEG over the course of the year and one brief conversation with Spurs.

"Anything they might propose for an athletics legacy has to be a compromise to the stadium continuing to operate at a world-class level. To my mind that is completely unacceptable."

Tottenham were unable to comment on Warner's remarks, due to a confidentiality agreement associated with their bid to move into the stadium.

Press Association

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