Paris mayor accuses Blair and Coe
PARIS, France -- London's winning bid to stage the 2012 Olympics breached the rules, Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoe claimed on Monday.
Delanoe, president of the Paris bid, accused British Prime Minister Tony Blair of breaking an International Olympic Committee rule that meetings between bid officials and IOC menmbers should only be informal.
He also told France-Info radio that his London counterpart Sebastien Coe had "crossed the line."
"The IOC knows that (British Prime Minister) Tony Blair had written to IOC members to offer to meet them," Delanoe told reporters.
Delanoe said that Blair had then met IOC members in his hotel suite in Singapore before Wednesday's vote, in which London scored a narrow victory over Paris.
"Everybody was aware of it and could see it," Delanoe said.
"That's against the rules. I saw people coming out of Blair's suite."
Delanoe was also angered by London's aggressive campaigning, led by twice Olympic 1500 meters champion Coe, saying they rode roughshod on a "formal ban on criticizing other candidates."
Delanoe, a socialist, was picked up by the conservative party's Claude Goasguen for not explaining his accusations.
"If the English cheated, you have to say how," Goasguen told France-3 television. "It's not at all appropriate to vaguely say that the English had an attitude that doesn't fit with the Olympic ideal."
On Saturday, IOC president Jacques Rogge said none of the cities broke rules designed to stamp out corruption in the bidding process. He sought to end to criticism of Blair's involvement in the London bid.
"There's nothing wrong with having a conversation with a major politician from a bid city," Rogge said. "Mr. Blair never asked a (IOC) member to become a member of the Labour Party."
Rogge said none of the cities broke rules designed to stamp out corruption in the bid process.
"Sometimes they were close to the limits," he said. "Sometimes we had to give a little slap on the fingers."
Reuters contributed to this report.
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