Stadium may not be opened until 2016

The Westmorland Gazette: The Olympic Stadium might not re-open until 2016 The Olympic Stadium might not re-open until 2016

The Olympic Stadium's re-opening could be delayed until 2016, it has been confirmed - a disclosure that has prompted Sebastian Coe to warn he will keep a close watch on developments.

Lord Coe won a hard-fought battle to bring the 2017 World Athletics Championships to the stadium and will not want any delays to undermine the event. Coe, who was elected as chairman of the British Olympic Association on Wednesday, is also vice-president of the IAAF who run the World Championships.

Coe said: "I am also the client with my position in the IAAF so we will be watching that very closely."

Dennis Hone, chief executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation, told the London Assembly that the original re-opening date of the stadium of August 2014 was "completely out" and may not happen until two years after that.

There are four bids on the table about the future use of the venue, including from West Ham, who remain the favourites although they want to have retractable seating installed over the running track.

Meanwhile, Coe promised he would fight for tougher penalties for drugs cheats after being elected unopposed as the new chairman of the BOA. Coe said he was disappointed when the BOA's lifetime ban for athletes found guilty of doping was overturned in court in May, and that he will seek to enforce a zero-tolerance approach.

He said: "My stance is still non-negotiable. I will chair an organisation that will always take a zero-tolerance approach to drug abuse in sport."

The BOA have a substantial deficit, perhaps more than £4million, after their spending on London but outgoing chairman Lord Moynihan claimed that should be covered by an expected £5million windfall from the London 2012 organising committee (LOCOG).

Any surplus from the running for the Games will see £5million go to the BOA and £2.5million to ParalympicsGB before the Government has any claim on what remains.

LOCOG say they are working towards breaking even, but Moynihan said: "I have comfort that the surplus distribution will be paid, that LOCOG will not be making a loss, but that is my personal view."

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