London 2017 Bid Revived After Bob Hersh Claims Running Track as Non-Issue

October 5, 2011

London’s 2017 bid for the World Championships has been given a major boost after Bob Hersh, head of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Evaluation Commission, claimed the issue surrounding the London Olympic Stadium track has been resolved.

The American headed an IAAF delegation that completed its inspection of London’s 2017 bid on Tuesday. 

Inspectors were handed a ‘cast-iron guarantee’ by the British government that the running track will remain in place at the Olympic Stadium, regardless of whether English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur wins its court action against the decision to award the venue to West Ham United after London 2012.

The action had threatened to derail London’s bid, but Mayor Boris Johnson last week urged Tottenham to stay in North London after the club was offered a stadium deal that could save it $26 million. 

Tottenham is still seeking a judicial review of the Olympic Stadium decision, which will be heard on 18th October.

Hersh said: “We were concerned before we got here, having read about this issue for years now. But based on our very good meeting yesterday, the assurances we have received from the government and the way in which it has addressed the legal state of affairs and legal possibilities, we are satisfied.

“We are satisfied there will be a stadium with a track in it and we will be able to host the 2017 World Championships in that stadium. We’re very pleased to have that issue sorted as we have just regarded it as a distraction off to the side.

“The city sells itself. It is a wonderful city and one that I have always enjoyed being in. The stadium is world class and we’re also very pleased with the passion and commitment of UK Athletics (UKA) and those who are involved in this bid. I think UKA have shown they are capable of holding a successful World Championships.”