OLYMPICS FARCE AFTER SEB COE BANS PEPSI T-SHIRTS

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    Saturday July 21,2012
    By David Pilditch

    WEARING a Pepsi T-shirt could get you banned from the ­Olympics, London 2012 chief Lord Coe suggested yesterday, sparking anger and confusion over the exclusivity rights of ­official sponsors of the Games.


    Lord Coe yesterday in the Olympic Park control room

    The peer insisted people would not be allowed into the Olympic Park if they were wearing a Pepsi T-shirt “because Coca-Cola are our sponsors”.

    But he then added to the ­muddle by saying that ticket holders would “probably” get into the venue wearing Nike trainers even though Adidas is another key sponsor.

    And later Games organisers Locog contradicted their own chairman’s claim. A source said Lord Coe may have got mixed up over differing rules for spectators and those working and volunteering at the Games.

    Lord Coe’s blunder came as he appeared on Radio 4’s Today programme and hit out at the negativity surrounding the build-up to the Olympics following concerns over security, transport and strict sponsorship rules.

    In an occasionally testy interview, Lord Coe, who as Sebastian Coe was an Olympic champion, defended organisers from claims there had been a heavy-handed approach to protecting sponsors’ rights.

    Presenter Evan Davis challenged the Olympics supremo on whether he would be allowed to turn up to an event in a Pepsi T-shirt.

    Pepsi, itself a huge inter­national brand whose logo has been seen on T-shirts worn by stars like US actress Mila Kunis, 28, is a deadly rival of Coca-Cola.

    Lord Coe, 55, told Davis: “No, you probably wouldn’t be walking in with a Pepsi T-shirt because Coca-Cola are our sponsors and they have put millions of pounds into this project but also millions of pounds into grassroots sport. It is important to protect those sponsors.”

    Asked next whether he could wear Nike trainers, Lord Coe said: “I think you probably could…”

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