Olympic officials have secretly asked if London would be in a position to take over hosting the 2016 games from Rio de Janeiro amid major concerns with the city’s preparations.
The informal enquiry looked to determine if enough of the venues used in the 2012 games could be brought back into use for the next Olympics in two years time, the Evening Standard reports.
The revelation comes as an International Olympic Committee vice president last month branded Brazil’s planning “the worst I have experienced”.
John Coates, who has closely monitored progress from Rio, told a press conference in Sydney that the city is “in many, many ways” further behind Athens was two years before the 2004 games - the current benchmark for last minute completions.
Calling the situation on the ground “critical”, Mr Coates said the IOC has been forced to make an “unprecedented” intervention by forming a special task force to try to speed up preparations.
He added however that “there is no plan B” as the games could not be moved to a different city at such a late stage.
Since then, it seems that the IOC may well have changed its mind and started searching for a backup plan which could involve London.