By Duncan Mackay

Team GBMarch 9 - A row over a shortfall in the British Olympic Association's (BOA) funding for next year's Games has been referred to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) who have been asked to adjudicate on whether London 2012 should have to help close the gap.

The BOA needs to find up to £5 million ($8 million) to help it meet its obiligations for next year's Games.

The BOA, which receives no public funding, plans to support at least 500 athletes in the country's biggest Olympic team in more than a century with extra athletes featuring in sports where Britain has not previously been represented but can take part next year as host nation.

It was London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe, insidethegames understands, that decided to ask the IOC to get involved because of the pressure he was coming under from the BOA to renegotiate the Joint Marketing Agreement (JMA) between the Organising Committee and the BOA.

Under the terms of the agreement, the IOC can change the terms.

"The Joint Marketing Programme Agreement allows for the IOC to make the final decision in a dispute between LOCOG and the BOA," the IOC said in a statement.

"The IOC was asked by both parties to look at how a potential surplus from the Games would be defined and to offer both parties the opportunity to make their case.

"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 JMPA."

The matter, however, may be referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) if a solution cannot be found, BOA chairman Colin Moynihan has threatened.

Andy Hunt, the BOA chief executive, is blaming the agreement negotiated with London 2012 over joint marketing rights, that he inherited from the former chief executive Simon Clegg, for the crisis.

Hunt claims that the Joint Marketing Agreement with London 2012 was undervalued and that the BOA is receiving only £19 million ($31 million) in cash over seven years compared to the £71 million ($115 million) that the Canadian Olympic Committee received for a much smaller Olympic Winter Games.

London 2012 disputes the BOA accusations and claims that three years ago they provided an extra £6 million ($10 million) in cash and value-in-kind payments to help the BOA overcome its financial problems.

The BOA also received another £6.5million ($10.5 million) in sponsorship and asset sales in 2009 from London 2012, it is claimed.

"I am aware that the IOC have been asked to mediate," said Sir Craig Reeide, the former chairman of the BOA who is now a member of the IOC's ruling Executive Board.

"We await the IOC's decision with interest."

The BOA denied that the row would affect preparations for London 2012 and that the row was over developing sport in Britain after the Games.

"As the National Olympic Committee, our principal responsibility is to safeguard future opportunities for Olympic athletes and sport throughout the United Kingdom," said Moynihan.

"We are engaged in a process with a view to ensuring that surplus resulting from the London 2012 Olympic Games is available to be used for precisely those purposes.

"Quite simply, our objective is this: to guarantee that the London 2012 Olympic Games deliver a meaningful post-Games legacy that is beneficial to Olympic sport and athletes, present and future, throughout the UK. This is about protecting the future for athletes, for sport and for our National Governing Bodies.

"We are doing exactly what every National Olympic Committee is expected to do: we are safeguarding a future sports legacy in our country.

"We have taken these steps with the full support and direction of our Board of Directors.

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

"This has absolutely nothing to do with addressing our funding requirements for 2011 and 2012.

"We have a plan in place to generate those revenues and are confident we will do so."

But the dispute also involves the Paralympic Games and a row over whether the event should be subsided by the Olympics of up to £400 million ($648 million).

Under the Host City Contract, the BOA is entitled to 20 per cent of any operating surplus, with the IOC also receiving 20 per cent, and 60 per cent going into a trust fund for the benefit of sport in Britain, a figure that will be affected if that money is used to help pay for the Paralympics.

"The vision for London 2012, created by the BOA, Government and the Mayor of London and set out in the bid book is for one festival of sport, with an integrated Olympic and Paralympic Games, underpinned by a single budget," a spokeswoman for London 2012 told insidethegames.

"It is sad that this vision is now disputed by the new leadership of the BOA."

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