Ray Winstone compares Olympic organisation to 'white-collar gangsters' and calls Lord Coe 'a puppet'

The actor said less money should have gone into the 2012 event, but ploughed into the regeneration of East London

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The Independent Online

Ray Winstone has strongly criticised the Olympic 2012 organisers and the building of the stadium itself.

He branded Lord Coe a “puppet”, the Olympic organisation bosses “white collar gangsters” and the stadium a “f**king con” on the basis that the money should have been used to improve East London’s medical and education facilities.

He made the strongly worded assertion in his new autobiography, Young Winstone.

“It wasn’t the Olympics themselves I objected to - I really admire the athletes and the effort and dedication they put in - I just looked around at East London and thought, ‘When we’ve built the hospitals and paid the teachers to be teachers and stopped closing all the fire stations down, maybe then we can afford this, but at the moment it’s an outrageous f***ing liberty,’” he wrote.

The actor - who is known for playing gangsters - went onto accuse the Olympic committee as being corrupt.

“The Olympic organisation isn’t really about the sport, it’s about the building, and when I see the people who run the committee - not so much Lord Coe, but he’s a puppet, anyway - they look like white-collar gangsters to me,” he commented.

“The corruption isn’t just a side issue; it’s at the heart of the whole enterprise.”

Winstone first voiced his unfavourable view on the money spent on the event back in 2012, although his latest comments are his most caustic to date.

“People talk about a legacy but I don’t know what the legacy is. What, people running around a track?” he previously said.

“I mean how many times is that stadium going to be used, once every six months? I don’t know.”

The International Olympic Committee refused to be drawn into any debate on the the subject.

“We would be happy to comment on any specific allegations if there are any rather than a general insult,” IOC 's director of communications Mark Adams told The Independent. “The International Olympic Committee is a non-for-profit organisation run by volunteers that redistributes 90 percent of its revenues to sport and to the athletes.  We contributed $1.3billion to the London 2012 Games.”

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