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British sports teams shun use of Olympic Park as base post-2012


BRITAIN'S TOP sports teams have shunned the use of London's Olympic Park as a base after the 2012 Games, throwing the site's legacy use into question.

The British Olympic Association has conrmed that none of the country's top sports teams want to be permanently based at the Olympic Park site in Stratford, east London.

Confirmation of the decision came as MPs criticised London's Olympic bosses for failing to produce a clear plan of how Olympic Park venues will used after 2012.

A report released by the Commons public accounts committee on Tuesday says clarity about the park's post-2012 use means that venue designs could clash with the needs of postgames users.

'Legacy plans for using the five new venues that will remain after 2012 should now be alised, with ownership and responsibility for conversion and running costs resolved for each venue, ' says the report.

Britain's national governing bodies for all of the major Olympic sports have already made clear their intention to avoid taking on the post-games running costs of Olympic Park venues. They have said that their elite teams will remain at their current bases rather than relocate to the Stratford site.

Responding to a consultation by the British Olympic Association, the ruling bodies for athletics, swimming, cycling and hockey all said they would only put forward lower prole teams such as youth squads to train at Stratford.

Teams of low-profile and amateur athletes were likely to be unable to afford the large running costs associated with Olympic-scale venues, according to Whitbybird design director Mark Whitby.

However, Whitby says: 'The Olympic venues will be fantastic for the national or international events that take place there.' A Department for Culture, Media & Sport spokesman said: 'We do have plans for the legacy of the venue that are in the process of being nalised and will be made public very shortly.'

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