- Title: VARIOUS: BBC report claims Button error may have changed Olympic vote
- Date: 23rd December 2005
- Summary: MADRID, SPAIN (JULY 6, 2005) (REUTERS) SCU YOUNG MAN WITH HANDS CROSSED WOMAN WAITING FOR WINNERS ANNOUNCEMENT ROGUE ON BIG SCREEN AS CROWD SHOUTS "MADRID, MADRID"
- Embargoed: 7th January 2006 12:00
- Topics: Sports
- Reuters ID: LVAC8JPVSPOY6U79FA9CR1AOT0G9
- Story Text: London's winning bid for the 2012 Olympics could have been helped by an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member pressing the wrong button during the voting process, according to a BBC report. The report says that the member mistakenly voted for Paris in the third round of voting in Singapore on July 6, giving it 33 votes to 31 for Madrid instead of 32-32 which would have prompted a vote-off before the final round. Madrid had been ahead after the second round. London then beat Paris in the final round of voting, although the report states that Madrid would have been a big threat to London had they got through to the final round.
The circumstances of the vote are to be screened by BBC News 24 on Sunday. Alex Gilady, an Israeli IOC member and part of the London 2012 Co-ordination Commission, tells the programme that another IOC member, thought to be Lambis Nikolaou of Greece, made the mistake. If true it would help to explain why Madrid had 32 votes in the second round of voting but lost one of them in the third round. The programme also suggests the mistake resulted in the long delay before the third round results were announced. "Let us say we think we know what happened, that one member made a mistake and voted for Paris rather than Madrid," Gilady told the BBC. "If he had voted for Madrid it would have been 32-32 and we would have to have a vote-off between Madrid and Paris.
"In the vote-off, all the votes supporting London would have gone to Madrid because the fear was that Paris had a big chance to win. Madrid would have won against Paris, coming to the final against London. "There, all the votes from Paris would have gone to support Madrid. Madrid would have won. That is now what we think happened. This is what you call good fortune and good luck."
In the final round of voting London gained 54 votes to 50 for Paris. Reacting to the story an spokesman for London 2012 told the BBC: "There are a lot of folklore stories about who voted for whom. "At the end of the day, it was a secret ballot. This is the opinion of one individual. The result is what matters and we are not going to be drawn into speculation." Greek and Israeli officials were unavailable for comment to Reuters on Friday.
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