Inside Lines: Staying on track needs more than a word from West Ham - Others - More Sports - The Independent

Inside Lines: Staying on track needs more than a word from West Ham

 

Securing the future of the 2012 Olympic Stadium, fast becoming a tedious tug-of-war with West Ham, Tottenham and Leyton Orient all tossing in their two penn'orth, is now a Government priority.

The International Association of Athletics Federations' Evaluation Commission, headed by their senior vice-president, the American Bob Hersh, are in town this week wanting to know exactly what the heck is going on. The IAAF will decide next month whether London or Qatar will host the 2017 World Athletics Championships. It may well hinge on whether the sports minister Hugh Robertson and London's mayor, Boris Johnson, can convince him that the issue will be settled before the crucial vote.

Hence the crafty "ultimatum" from Johnson that the £17m offer to help Spurs remain in north London, which Orient chairman Barry Hearn whimsically calls a "bung", will be withdrawn if the club does not drop a High Court hearing on 18 October, a month before the IAAF meet in Monte Carlo. One of the reasons why Spurs are dragging their heels could be that there has been no written agreement that the track will be kept by West Ham. Spurs believe it was their own refusal to retain this facility, instead offering to upgrade Crystal Palace, which ruled them out.

It is odd that we still only have West Ham's word for it that they will keep the track. Spurs may feel justly aggrieved if there is no Government insistence that a clause is inserted in a lease which was due to be drawn up months ago yet still has to be formalised. But Robertson assures me: "It is absolutely my intention to ensure the track will be there for the duration of the lease in line with the commitment made at the time of the 2012 bid."

The fact is, all those involved with the 2012 bid made a huge mistake by bottling out of making the Olympic Stadium a Stade de Stratford, with Parisian-style retractable seating over the track which would have suited both football and athletics. The extra few million quid might well have saved a lot of aggro.

Pulling power

Talking of tug-of-war, some home-grown exploits in the real thing saw England collect a fistful of medals last weekend – including gold – in the 16-nation European Championships at Butlins in Minehead (all together now, hi-di-heave-ho!).

I have always thought it a shame that it is no longer an Olympic event – Britain were the last champions, in 1920. There is still lots of tugging going on here, though, with around 40 clubs and a national league, and it is becoming popular in schools again, especially among women. So should you fancy a spot of mixed pulling (it's allowed), contact tug-of-war.co.uk.

Sorry Haroon, no Khan do

AIBA, the international governing body of amateur boxing, continue to punch themselves in the face. Following Newsnight's Azerbaijan allegations about cash for 2012 Olympic gold, hotly denied and now being investigated, the oddly favourable seedings for that nation in the current World Championship and the idiotic banning of pro coaches from the corner, we have their latest edict, an arbitrary decision to bar Amir Khan's kid brother Haroon from representing Pakistan at the Championships and the Olympics.

This despite the fact that he won a bronze medal for that country in the last Commonwealth Games (after being told he wasn't good enough to make GB's elite squad) and holds a dual passport. Autocratic AIBA belatedly say he isn't eligible for any of their tournaments because he once wore an England vest as a junior. His father, Shah, has lodged an appeal and Haroon might well feel miffed, knowing how easy it is in this country for foreign athletes to become "plastic Brits", handed a vest of convenience because they may have had a grandmother who once lodged in Chipping Sodbury.

Taking a dive in Newham

Newham's well-used swimming pool, deep in east London's 2012 heartland, which has been closed because of asbestos problems, will not now reopen because the local council can't afford the repairs. Do you get that sinking feeling about Olympic legacy?

insidelines@independent.co.uk

Suggested Topics
News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
property
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK wedding show jilted
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Sport
Mikel Arteta pictured during Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
champions league
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams in the video of the song, which has been accused of justifying rape
music...and he had 'almost no part' in writing it
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior QA Engineer - Agile, SCRUM

£35000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior QA Engineer (Agil...

Marketing Executive - West Midlands - £28,000

£26000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Executive (SEO, PP...

Retail Business Analyst

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our retail client ...

Senior C++ Developer

£400 - £450 Per Annum possibly more for the right candidate: Clearwater People...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week