IOC plays down London budget fears

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The Independent Online

The International Olympic Committee has come to the defence of the organisers of the London Games, saying it is "very happy" with current progress and "not unduly concerned" about the budget.

Denis Oswald, the chairman of the IOC coordination commission, blamed much of the adverse publicity over cost overruns on "misinformation" and said there would be no "knee-jerk reaction" from the IOC to figures that have emerged over the last few weeks.

"London have made a lot of progress and the timelines of the project are going according to schedule" Oswald told the IOC's executive board meeting in Kuwait.

Concerns about costs of the 2012 Games were sparked by the recent resignation of Jack Lemley, chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority, who said they would rise "exponentially". Last week the Olympics minister, Tessa Jowell, confirmed that the budget had already risen by £900m to £3.3bn, not including the cost of wider regeneration projects in the Stratford area.

Oswald said it was important to separate the cost of building Games venues and infrastructure from wider regeneration projects, claiming that the increases had "nothing to do with the Games". He added: "The Government investments budget only partly concerns Olympics projects. I believe the increases mentioned have nothing to do with the Games and can easily be explained."