Outside Edge

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The Independent Online

Another tough week for London 2012 planning. First foreign workers at the Olympic site are passed off as “locals”, then six Romany families are relocated to new houses at a cost of £1.85m to make way for the handball arena... but at least police objections to the arena’s roof have been quashed. Architects Make want a metal roof with a ramp leading up to it but the Met are worried that thieves will steal the tiles. Now another of the five sites, the velodrome, is said to have unexploded bombs from World War Two buried under it despite the Olympic Delivery Authority conducting three studies. They will have to dig a deeper hole for themselves. But that’s the easy part.


Price paid by ex-Formula One champion Nigel Mansell for a German Shepherd dog called Geisha to guard his Jersey home after kids drove him round the bend by using his land as a short cut to the beach. It’s a bone of contention.

Booby prize of the week

Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell has called on the Games to show greater equality between the sexes. She wants to see women’s heavyweight wrestling – without the mud – and men’s synchronised swimming (to see how awful that would be, just take a look at € tinyurl.com/dmlwlv). Last week, women’s boxing was approved for the Olympics but one Brit who dreamed of glory in 2012 has had her hopes dashed. Former model Sarah Blewden has been banned by the British governing body, the ABA, because her breast implants pose a health risk. That should surely put an end to Katie Price’s hopes of competing in the dressage in 2012. She could try zeppelin racing instead.

Good week for

Dee Caffari, Briton becomes first woman to sail solo round the world non-stop both ways... Ellie Symonds, British paralympic swimmer is youngest recipient of MBE at 14... Mark Clattenburg, referee appeals successfully against sacking over his business dealings... and Silverstone, rejected F1 circuit to be given £5m facelift for MotoGP debut in 2010.

Bad week for

Michael Owen, the Stanford All-Stars, the England and Wales Cricket Board and West Indies Cricket Board, basketball’s Houston Rockets and Miami Heat, golfers Vijay Singh, Camilo Villegas and Morgan Pressell, the PGA’s St Jude Championship, the AT&T National and LPGA’s Financial Tour Championship, tennis’s Sony Ericsson Open and the Sandhurst Polo Day, some of the sporting connections cultivated by Sir Allen Stanford’s megabucks.

Young strikers of the week

Victory for equality in football this week. Not only did Donna Powell manage Fisher Athletic in the Conference South, but two girls who were banned by the Football Association from playing for Birchwood Under-12s in Warrington have been reinstated after their male team-mates went on strike. Good job too, since one of them, Kara Hunt, is the goalie. Apparently there was some problem with insurance. Qatar, hosts of the next Asian Cup, might take a look at their insurance policy after taking delivery of a badly dented trophy from the holders, Iraq. A spokesman said: “There was some damage to the trophy because of the happiness of the Iraqi people.”