West Ham takes legal action over corruption claims

West Ham is suing a British newspaper and fellow soccer club

Tottenham over allegations of corruption in its bid to take over

the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 London Games.

West Ham released a statement in which it ”absolutely and

categorically” denied claims by The Sunday Times that the club

made secret payments to an executive on the Olympic Park Legacy

Company, the body that chose the preferred tenant of the $777

million east London venue.

OPLC unanimously selected West Ham over a bid from

Tottenham.

”Legal action is being taken against the Sunday Times, as well

as Tottenham Hotspur,” the West Ham statement read.

The club said it was ”certain of the robustness of our

successful bid” for the Olympic Stadium, adding that ”no stone

has gone unturned trying to find a way to undermine our bid.”

The OPLC said Friday that it had suspended one of its directors

who had also been employed as a paid consultant for West Ham,

sparking fears of a possible conflict of interest in the bidding

process.

West Ham responded immediately by saying it was ”of the firm

view that the integrity of the bidding process has not been

compromised.”

West Ham hopes to leave its current 35,000-seat Upton Park home

and move into the Olympic Stadium for the 2013-14 season. The club

plans to downsize the stadium from 80,000 to 60,000 seats and use

it as a multipurpose venue, fulfilling Britain’s promise to retain

a running track at the facility.

Tottenham had proposed knocking down most of the stadium and

building a 60,000-seat, soccer-only venue on the same site, without

a track.

Tottenham applied to London’s High Court last week seeking a

judicial review into the OPLC’s decision to pick West Ham as the

preferred tenant.