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Wimbledon Endorsed as Tennis Venue for London 2012 Olympic Bid - 2003-07-06

International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge says he would like to see Wimbledon "be an integral part of London's bid" to win the 2012 Olympic Games.

Rogge, who was in the Royal Box to watch the Wimbledon men's tennis final Sunday, called the All England Club "a temple of sport" and said the venue would add to the prestige of any Olympics. The IOC chief said if the Olympics were awarded to London, he would like to see the tennis events played on grass.

There is a question whether the International Tennis Federation would play on grass or would ask to play on clay or another surface. But Lawn Tennis Association chief executive John Crowther called Rogge's endorsement excellent news. He said he had spoken to the ITF and had been told that "grass is a perfectly acceptable surface."

London is facing competition to host the 2012 games from New York, Paris, Moscow, Madrid, Leipzig, Havana and Istanbul.