The International Olympic Committee yesterday welcomed the announcement of peace talks in the bitter dispute between the British Olympic Association and London 2012 organisers. The BOA has suspended its legal action against London 2012 and will put a new proposal on the table later this week.
IOC communications director Mark Adams said: "Clearly it's a good thing that people are talking again. As Winston Churchill would say, 'To jaw jaw is always better than to war war.'"
London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe said that he had no idea what had caused the BOA leaders to stop their action, nor what would be contained in their new offer. He said: "This has to be a sensible development. It is clearly better not to be in a position where you have an ongoing, admittedly low-level, irritation. It has been a distraction."
Asked what had caused the BOA's change of heart, Coe added: "Draw your own conclusions."
The BOA is due 20 per cent of any surplus after the Games but has claimed the cost of staging the Paralympics should not be taken into account when calculating that surplus.
The action has cost BOA chairman Lord Moynihan much goodwill – Olympics minister Hugh Robertson called it "an embarrassment".