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OPLC employee suspended over West Ham link

Filed: Friday, 1st July 2011
By: Staff Writer

Tottenham have received a boost in their bid to prevent West Ham moving into the Olympic Stadium after an OPLC employee with links to United was suspended today.

According to reports, the female staff member - who is understood to have declared a relationship with an employee of West Ham upon being offered the job - was suspended with immediate effect pending an investigation, after it was revealed that she had been moonlighting for the Hammers as a consultant.

A spokesman for West Ham told 24dash.com: "We have become aware of inquiries being made in respect of a lady who has undertaken work for West Ham United on a consultancy basis relating to the Olympic Stadium project.

"Having learned of the inquiries, we have undertaken an initial internal investigation. We have established that the work that was carried out was not connected in any way to the bidding process for the Olympic Stadium but procurement project management thereafter.

"We are of the firm view that the integrity of the bidding process has not been compromised. We consider that the bidding process was robust and believe that remains the case."

The OPLC appeared equally unconcerned by the revelation, adding: "It has come to our attention that an employee of the Olympic Park Legacy Company has been undertaking paid consultancy work for West Ham United FC.

"The company had no knowledge of this work and no permission was given to undertake it. This individual had no involvement whatsoever in our stadium process.

"The individual concerned had declared a personal relationship with an employee of West Ham United FC when she joined the organisation and we therefore put robust measures in place to ensure our stadium process was not compromised.

"As soon as this new information came to light the company took immediate action and launched an independent investigation. The employee has been suspended pending the outcome of this."

Back in January, former Olympic javelin champion Tessa Sanderson was removed from the OPLC's adjudicating panel due to links with Newham Council. Sanderson was employed by Newham as a consultant - a link she was accused of failing to disclose.

Tottenham - who last week returned to the High Court despite having seen all previous applications for a judicial review of the case rejected - are yet to comment on this latest development.

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