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IOC to mediate financial dispute

LONDON (AP) ― The IOC agreed Wednesday to step in to settle a financial dispute between two British Olympic bodies responsible for delivering the 2012 London Games.

The British Olympic Association claims it deserves to receive millions of dollars more from its joint marketing agreement with the London 2012 organizing committee, known as LOCOG.

The BOA says it faces a budget shortfall of up to $16 million that threatens funding of the British team for the London Games. LOCOG says the revenue-sharing deal is fair and refuses to renegotiate.

The International Olympic Committee said it will mediate and has the power to make a final ruling.

“The IOC was asked to look at how a potential surplus from the games would be defined and to offer both parties the opportunity to make their case,” the IOC said in a statement. “Ultimately the agreement allows for the IOC to take a decision that would be final and binding on the parties and the IOC intends to take this decision in line” with the accord.

In 2005, the BOA sold the marketing rights for the use of the Olympic rings in Britain to LOCOG for about $43 million. The BOA has since secured an additional $9 million.

The current dispute centers on BOA’s 20 percent cut of any surplus made by LOCOG. The BOA claims the cost of staging the Paralympics should not be taken into account when calculating any profit.

“This is about protecting the future for athletes, for sport and for our national governing bodies,” the BOA said in a statement. “We are doing exactly what every national Olympic committee is expected to do: we are safeguarding a future sports legacy in our country.

“We are confident an amicable and equitable resolution will be reached.”

The BOA, which relies on private funding and receives no government financing, will be supporting about 550 athletes and 450 staff at the London Games.

“I’m absolutely certain we will have a full team at the games,” BOA chief executive Andy Hunt told the BBC.

“The money will not affect that. The level to which we can support the team ... that is where the challenge comes.”
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