No evidence of link to winning bid

Updated: July 9, 2005, 9:52 AM ET
Associated Press

SINGAPORE -- A top IOC official Saturday noted that there was no evidence that London's winning bid for the 2012 Olympics was tied to the deadly bombings in the city.

"We don't have a single hint that would lead us to the conclusion that this has anything to do with the Olympic Games," IOC vice president Thomas Bach said as IOC members ended their last day of meetings in Singapore, three days after awarding the 2012 Games to the British capital.

On the day after London won the bid, bombs exploded on three London subway cars and a double-decker bus, killing at least 49 people. Investigators were assessing a claim of responsibility posted on the Internet by a group calling itself The Secret Organization of al-Qaida in Europe.

Bach, a German lawyer, said the attacks possibly were linked to the start of the Group of Eight summit of leaders of the world's most powerful nations in Scotland, as well as the British role in the U.S.-led invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Speaking to journalists and German businessmen, he noted that the Athens Games last year were free of security problems, and that before the event Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat had appealed for the integrity of the games to be respected.

Although Bach warned that Olympic organizers should not be "complacent," he said any city was vulnerable to attack, and London might be free of the scourge of terrorism when it hosts the games in seven years.

"We are not worried with the future," Bach said.

The IOC official praised London's plans for the Olympics, saying a key factor in its victory over Paris, Madrid, New York and Moscow was its ability to show it would "use the games as a catalyst for getting kids back to sport."

"They had a real aim that corresponded with the aims of the IOC," Bach said. "They were thinking beyond those 16 days of glory."


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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