NEWS

Greek IOC man in Games mix-up

Greece’s most senior Olympic official, Lambis Nikolaou, has not commented on claims that emerged on Friday alleging that he miscast his vote during a ballot in July, possibly denying Madrid the opportunity of hosting the 2012 Olympics. Israel’s International Olympic Committee (IOC) delegate Alex Gilady claimed that a colleague mistakenly voted for Paris instead of Madrid when the two cities were left competing with London for the right to host the 2012 Games. Paris got 33 votes to Madrid’s 31 in the third round, so another vote in favor of the Spanish capital would have led to a tiebreaker to decide who faced off against London in the final round. As things stood, London beat Paris by 54 votes to 50 to become the host city. Since Gilady’s comments it has been alleged that Nikolaou, one of the IOC’s four vice presidents, was the man who voted for Paris by mistake. Nikolaou was also the head of the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC) between 1985 and 1993 and from 1997 to 2005. After the third-round voting in Singapore, Nikolaou was heard complaining that he did not have time to register his choice but the records showed that all the votes had been cast and his objection was dismissed. Gilady claimed that the unnamed official in question had pledged his ballot to Madrid and wanted to change his vote after apparently forgetting who he had voted for. British IOC member Craig Reedie dismissed Gilady’s claims as «totally irrelevant» and said the ballot had been conducted completely in line with IOC rules. The Associated Press reported that Nikolaou’s secretary said the IOC official was aware of the claims but did not wish to comment.