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UK Athletics backs Hammers' plan

The governing body of British athletics threw its support yesterday behind West Ham's bid to take over London's Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games.

The Premier League club has submitted a joint bid with Newham council to take over the stadium, and have pledged to retain the athletics track in the £537m facility.

A rival bid has been submitted by Tottenham Hotspur, together with American sports and entertainment giant AEG, but their plans rule out keeping the running track.

London Olympic officials promised to keep athletics as part of the long-term future of the stadium when they were bidding for the Games.

"What has impressed me about the joint bid from West Ham and Newham is their clear commitment to the spirit of the Olympic legacy," UK Athletics chairman Ed Warner said.