By Mike Rowbottom

56650343April 4 - David Bedford, race director of the Virgin London Marathon, has quit his position as manager of the 2012 Olympic marathon because of his "frustration" with the Games organisers.

Bedford's colleague at the London Marathon, chief executive Nick Bitel, has revealed that the 61-year-old former world 10,000 metres record holder stood down from his Olympic role in February.

"David has decided not to work on the Olympic events any more," Bitel said.

"That's his personal choice and I very much regret his decision.

"The decision was due to his frustration with LOCOG's (London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games) approach to event management."

Bedford told the Evening Standard: "I quit my role; I resigned.

"We [the London Marathon] are a professional business run by professionals and it was very difficult to work for another organisation who in the main have never organised an event of their own."

Bedford also described the handling of the decision to cut out East End boroughs from the marathon route as "appalling", according to the newspaper.

"Had the 2012 organisers engaged with Tower Hamlets and told them what was happening and why it would have have been alright but they didn't," he said.

"They dropped it on them as a fait acompli and that's not the way you should treat a partner.

"It was done appallingly and I imagine when [London 2012 chairman] Seb [Coe] made the peace with the [East End] politicians he also apologised at the way they had been treated."

One of the other issues reported to have caused Bedford to quit was the test event for the marathon in May.

Bitel added: "Dave has incredible knowledge and experience so we regret the fact he's not working on the events, but we are continuing to work closely and harmoniously with LOCOG and we are confident that they will be great events."

At a time when the smooth-running organisation of the 2012 Games has been troubled by the flaring row with the British Olympic Association over the sharing out of any Games surplus, the latest news adds to LOCOG's current discomfort.

A London 2012 spokeswoman said: "This was Dave Bedford's own decision, it hasn't affected the strong working relationship that the London Marathon has with LOCOG.

"Both organisations are working closely together on the test event in May 2011, and on the delivery of first-class Olympic and Paralympic marathons in 2012."

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
February 2011:
 London 2012 and Tower Hamlets sign peace deal over Olympic marathon
February 2011: Exclusive - London 2012 will regret changing marathon route claims East End MP
November 2010: IAAF back London 2012 in Olympic marathon row
November 2010: People's Marathon launched to protest over London 2012 changes
November 2010: London 2012 set to face legal action from Host Borough over Olympic marathon course
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