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The Voice denied access to Olympic Stadium

Published:Saturday | July 14, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Usain Bolt
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce

AFTER 30 years, it's a London 2012 no go for UK's leading black publication. The Voice has been denied access to the Olympic Stadium for this month's London 2012 extravaganza.

This is after the British Olympic Association (BOA) launched an elaborate and successful campaign to highlight London's unique cosmopolitan culture as a convincing reason for it to host the Games.

But having applied for accreditation for the greatest show on earth, the country's number-one publication for the African-Caribbean community in the United Kingdom received this reply from the British Olympic Association: "The extraordinary interest and demand from UK media saw the British Olympic Association (BOA) receive more than 3,000 requests for the approximately 400 accreditations available.

Waiting list

"After careful consideration by the Media Accreditation Committee, we regret to inform you that your application for accreditation for the London 2012 Olympic Games has been unsuccessful.

"Should we be in the fortunate position to receive additional accreditations from the International Olympic Committee as the Games nearor if any granted accreditations are returned, we will reallocate them toapplicants on our waiting list. You willautomatically be put on this list," the British Olympic Association stated.

The Voice, which celebrates its 30-year milestone this August, had intended to bring London 2012 coverage of Team GB (Great Britain) as well as the exploits of athletes from Africa and the Caribbean, including the number-one sportsman in the world, Usain Bolt.

Reasons for refusing accreditation

The BOA in outlining its reasons for refusing accreditation added: "To assist with the allocation process, the BOA established a Media Accreditation Committee (MAC) to act as an impartial committee to review and provide input on the BOA's recommendations.

"MAC members are notrepresentatives of any one media organisation but are expected to representthe interest of all print, online and photography organisations as well as freelancers desiring to cover the London 2012 Olympics."

In reacting to the BOA's decision, the Voice editor and managing director, George Ruddock, said: "We are truly disappointed that The Voice which has covered the glorious achievements of British, African and Caribbean athletes for many years will not be inside the Olympic Stadium to record more expected glory as the track and field events get under way. This is truly a slap in the face by the BOA."

Voice of Sports Editor Rodney Hinds added: "We have been denied a truly great opportunity for Britain's leading black newspaper to report directly from within the Olympic Stadium with our unique coverage and focus on our athletes.

"Our readers can rest assured that we will still provide gold-standard Olympic coverage in the paper and online."