The government's handling of plans for a national athletics stadium has been slammed by a select committee report this week.
The report from MPs in the culture, media and sport committee comes after the abandonment of plans for a £97m stadium at Picketts Lock in north-east London and the decision last year not to cater for athletics at the national stadium, to be built at Wembley.

The report says both moves were wrong. Of the Picketts Lock decision, the report says: "The government involved itself beyond its scope and powers in conjuring up a project [Picketts Lock] that this committee judged unviable from the start."

It also notes "the sorry and convoluted way in which a national athletics centre at Picketts Lock was plucked out of the air by the government and then abruptly dropped".

The committee said the then culture secretary Chris Smith's decision in March last year to remove athletics from Wembley was perverse.

It claims that Smith overstepped his authority in doing this, and that the original dual-use concept for Wembley was the best option. It says: "It was, and remains, a highly commendable plan knocked off-course by hasty decisions arising from a lack of co-ordination."

It says that the government's proposed alternative venue in Sheffield for the 2005 World Athletics Championships "traded one risk for another". The proposal was rejected by the International Association of Athletics Federations.