Architect considered legal action after Tessa Jowell claimed design change to Olympic aquatics centure had doubled costs.

Olympic architect Zaha Hadid is understood to have considered legal action against the Department for Culture, Media and Sport following false allegations that the aquatics centre had gone significantly over budget.

Hadid's practice forced the DCMS to apologise in writing after secretary of state Tessa Jowell publicly announced Hadid was being sent "back to the drawing board" at the Thames Gateway Forum in November last year. Jowell falsely claimed the project had almost doubled in costs because of a change in specification.

A spokesperson for Hadid's firm said: "Tessa Jowell's statement did significantly upset this office and a meeting did take place after to discuss what action should be taken."

Hadid's practice, along with fellow scheme designers S&P Architects, was outraged at the claims and demanded an apology from the government.

The letter, from DCMS director of sport Nicola Roche dated 21 December 2005, agreed that Hadid did not change the specification.

It said: "I can confirm that Zaha Hadid Architects did not change the specification, nor have they been responsible for any proposed rise in costs. The secretary of state's comments about the Aquatics Centre should be seen in the context of a continuing process of controlling the potential for costs to rise as is the case with any project."