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2002 report doubted London Games benefits

A double-decker bus, symbolizing the journey the torch will now make to London for the 2012 Olympics, in the National Stadium, or Bird's Nest, during the closing ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games August 24, 2008. (UPI Photo/Stephen Shaver)
A double-decker bus, symbolizing the journey the torch will now make to London for the 2012 Olympics, in the National Stadium, or Bird's Nest, during the closing ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games August 24, 2008. (UPI Photo/Stephen Shaver) | License Photo

LONDON, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- The 2012 Summer Olympics won't have many lasting economic or social benefits for Britain except as a morale-boosting party, a 2002 government report said.

The 250-page Game Plan strategy document, commissioned by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, was delivered in 2002 by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport as Blair was gearing up his efforts to land the 2012 Olympics, The Times of London reported.

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Ten researchers who spent nearly a year working on it found scant evidence the Games would provide permanent economic benefits or give boosts to British amateur sports. Yet only months later, the British Cabinet backed the 2012 bid on the grounds that it would increase sports participation and regenerate East London, The Times said.

John Clark, the Game Plan's chief author, told the newspaper: "We concluded that countries should host the Olympics only for reasons of national celebration because the economic rationale is weak."

The contents of the report emerged as some were calling to stage the 2012 Olympics as an "austerity games," much like 1948 when London was last host city, as the recession is squeezing public spending plans for 2012-13 and amateur sports spending is being slashed.

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