Coe hits back over Olympic East End shame claim

Related Stories

Claims by an MP that the 2012 Olympic marathon route was changed because organisers are ashamed of London's East End have been branded "ludicrous".

Labour MP Rushanara Ali criticised plans to move the marathon finish from the Olympic Stadium to the Mall.

She said organisers were "embarrassed and ashamed" to showcase the area.

2012 chairman Lord Coe said the main part of the Games would be in the east and insisted that the decision was made on operational grounds.

London 2012 - Begin your journey here

London view
  • Sport, news and more 2012 information

Ms Ali, MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, said that moving the marathon would be a "huge blow" to East End boroughs.

She said: "If LOCOG goes ahead with this proposal, the message they send to the world is 'while we are happy to use the vibrancy, dynamism and diversity of the east end of London to win the Olympics bid, we're embarrassed and ashamed to showcase the area and its people to the world'."

Lord Coe said: "This is not a beauty contest and it would be ludicrous to suggest that we are ashamed of the East End.

"We wouldn't have created an Olympic Games that in large part is delivered in the East End with all the legacies if that were the case."

He said organisers were trying to stage the marathon at the same time as other events without impinging on competitors or spectators.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC London

Weather

London

Min. Night 15 °C

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.