Hunt Blames Media for Exacerbating BOA/LOCOG Row

April 21, 2011

British Olympic Association (BOA) chief executive Andy Hunt has claimed that the media were largely to blame in the bitter financial dispute between his organisation and London 2012 regarding any surplus from the Games, stating that it was unfairly “jumped upon” simply because it was the first major crack to appear in the preparation for the Games.

An agreement on the issue was reached earlier this week after the BOA dropped their case with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), after reaching resolution which is weighted heavily in favour of London 2012.

The organising committee were strongly supported by both the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the British Government throughout.

Hunt stated: “I think the issue got unprecedented media attention mainly because LOCOG and the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) have done a fantastic job on delivering the venues and planning for the Games.

“Therefore, everyone was looking for some little crack, some form of bad news.

“It was then that this row came along and it was jumped upon, perhaps unfairly so, and the crack was really opened up.

“Thing got blown out of all proportion but I maintain that this was a narrow, technical dispute about the interpretation of a contract.

“We have now agreed on the interpretation and we have now agreed on how we are going to work in partnership.

“We are very happy as we got clarification about how the payments will be made after the Games, in terms of if a surplus is created, and we are now working in partnership heading into London 2012.”

During the row, both Hunt and BOA chairman Colin Moynihan, the main driving force in the campaign to raise extra money for their struggling financial accounts, were suspended from the London 2012 Board, but both are now set to be able to resume their positions.

Hunt claims that the row has actually helped strengthen the relationship between the two parties, adding: “We have had a great relationship in with LOCOG over the years but I think all this has really strengthened our partnership whether it is in terms of operational planning for the Games, whether it is getting support from sponsors in planning for the next Olympic cycle or indeed making sure that we can build the best team in London with the best possible support network.

“There was no ‘climbdown’ from us as we now have a better understanding about what was agreed between LOCOG and Government, which was unclear before.

“It is a win-win for both of us and I’m just pleased that we’ve got that dispute over and done with and that we’re all working in partnership heading into London 2012.”