Sebastian Coe has thrown his weight behind West Ham's bid to move into the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games. They and Tottenham are vying for the right to move into the stadium but the Hammers would keep the running track while Spurs would not – they would instead develop an alternative athletics legacy, possibly at Crystal Palace.
The Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) are due to make a decision before March and Coe, chairman of the London Organising Committee, made little secret of where his sympathies lie, although he stressed that he has no part in the decision-making process.
Coe said: "We made a commitment to track and field to be a part of the legacy of the stadium so, as vice-president of the IAAF [International Association of Athletics Federations], it's not going to come as a huge shock that I am going to defend and help my sport. We are told that West Ham are happy to play football within a track and Tottenham have said they are not. Conclude from that what you want."
Coe confirmed that West Ham's proposal was in line with the promises London 2012 made to the IOC in Singapore when they won the contest to host the Olympics.
He also warned that despite building work on all venues being on schedule there can be no room for complacency. "I think this will be our toughest year so far. It will be much more pressured because we are getting to the business end of the project. Just because building work has finished does not mean all these venues magically become Olympic venues. I have been in many where I have known instinctively there has not been a lot of testing," he said.