BOA pulls out of hosting major Olympic meeting

BY foxsports • April 1, 2011

The British Olympic Association has pulled out of hosting a major international conference before the 2012 London Games because of a shortage of funds.

The Association of National Olympic Committees said it received official notification from the BOA that it ''does not have the necessary conditions'' to hold next year's ANOC assembly in London.

''ANOC understands and accepts the reasons explained by the BOA'' and will announce a new site for the meeting in the next few days, the association said in a statement from Lausanne, Switzerland.

The biannual ANOC assembly, attended by leaders of more than 200 national Olympic bodies from around the world, is traditionally held in the summer Olympic host city a few months before the games.

The conference, which costs millions of dollars to organize, is always held in conjunction with a meeting of the IOC's ruling executive board and gives Olympic leaders a chance to get a firsthand look at the preparations and facilities for the games.

The cash-strapped BOA said last month that it was considering giving up the event.

''Of course we'd be honored to host the event. However, we do have to prioritize our resources. Our priority No. 1 is preparing Team GB for the games,'' BOA spokesman Darryl Seibel said.

The BOA, which relies exclusively on private funding, has said it faces a budget shortfall of up to $16 million that threatens funding of some support programs for the British team. The BOA is also locked in a bitter financial dispute with London Olympic organizers over the distribution of any surplus from the games.

The ANOC assembly was held in Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008 ahead of the games in those cities. Organizers of the 2000 Sydney Olympics declined to host the meeting, saying it was too much of a hindrance in the final months of preparations, and the event was moved to Rio de Janeiro.

ANOC is led by Mario Vazquez Rana, the powerful Mexican media magnate who also serves on the International Olympic Committee executive board. He has organized several ANOC meetings in Mexico, including last year's assembly in Acapulco.

The BOA, headed by Colin Moynihan, has gone to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in its fight with London organizers over its share of Olympic profits.

The association, which is entitled to a 20 percent cut of any surplus, argues that the cost of the potentially money-losing Paralympics should not be taken into account.

The IOC ruled last month that the cost of the Olympics and Paralympics should be counted together, but the BOA rejected the decision and is pursuing its legal case.

share story