London organisers consider canoe venue change

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LONDON, Oct 9 (Reuters) London 2012 Olympics organisers may have to move the site of the canoe slalom venue after contamination was discovered at the proposed site.

In what is the first setback in the so-far smooth progress towards delivering the infrastructure and venues, petrol and tar products were found in the water at the Spitalbrook site in Broxbourne, just north of London.

An alternative site has been identified six miles further south should de-contamination work prove too costly.

''Although the Spitalbrook site investigations are still continuing, the initial results indicate that the cost of cleaning up the land for this venue would be prohibitive given budget and time restrictions,'' David Higgins, chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) said in a statement.

''We will continue to look at the Spitalbrook site but it is prudent to develop robust contingency plans at this stage. We have a very challenging timetable and it is important to take swift action when presented with problems.'' The International Canoeing Federation and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will have to approve any change of venue.

REUTERS BJR ND1430

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