World Athletics Championships: Moorcroft puzzled by Nebiolo

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The Independent Online
DAVID MOORCROFT said yesterday that Britain's bid for the 2003 World Championships had been plunged into a "bizarre situation" by world athletic's senior administrator.

Primo Nebiolo, president of the International Amateur Athletic Federation, revealed on Sunday that Paris would host the championships in four years' time, with a rebuilt Wembley staging the 2005 event. But Britain's bid committee is planning on making a formal application to stage the 2003 championships to the world governing body next spring.

"We have to present our case to the IAAF council next year and then there will be an announcement," said Moorcroft, chief executive of UK Athletics. "But it is a bizarre situation because the president has apparently announced Paris for 2003 and Wembley for 2005. We still do not necessarily expect it to be that simple. In a sense, we would rather go through a competitive bidding process.

"It's just rather funny when you think of the anguish of an Olympic bid or England's bid for [football's] 2006 World Cup and this happens in athletics. We will have to see what happens in the next few days."

If Britain has been awarded the 2005 championships in a confidential agreement to fix venues until 2009, it would save further amounts of money being spent in a needless bidding process.