A London 2012 Olympic Games gold medal
The 2012 Olympics medal count of shame is a list curated by the Wall Street Journal during the London Games which shows that though Britain has done stunningly well when it comes to bringing home gold, silver and bronze medals, its athletes have also had by far the most last, second-to-last and third-to-last performances of any nation this year. Reuters

The BBC's "Newsnight" programme reports evidence that secret payments are being made for countries to ensure gold medals at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The allegations were broadcast both on the BBC Web site as well as "Newsnight," suggesting that secret payments of millions of dollars were being made from Azerbaijan to the international organisation World Series Boxing.

The BBC says it has been shown evidence from whistleblowers that the WSB's chief claimed the money was in return for a guarantee that Azerbaijani fighters would two gold medals in London.

Lawyers for the International Amateur Boxing Association told the BBC that any such allegation was "preposterous and utterly untrue."

"Any suggestion the loan was made in return for promises of gold medals at the 2012 Olympics is preposterous and utterly untrue," said an IABA statement.

IABA, the boxing organiser at the Olympics, admits an Azeri national paid $9m (£5.9m) to one of their competitions, reports the BBC, but they deny any suggestion that any deals were made to fix medals.

"It was an arm's length transaction between two entities made on a commercial basis and with a view to a commercial return for the investor," the statement added.

The latest allegation of Olympic cheating will no doubt worry the London 2012 organisers as well as the authorities.

Last week, Professor David Cowan, a doping expert from King's College London, warned sportsmen and women who refuse to play fair not to come to London, the Press Association reported.

"It's going to be the riskiest games for cheats," he vowed, saying "huge advances" had been made in recent years to find ways of reliably identifying every kind of prohibited performance-enhancer. Cowan spoke at the British Science Festival at the University of Bradford.