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Company won't say whether report is the Real Thing or whether rumour is just Fanta-sy...

Soft drinks giant Coca-Cola is reportedly planning to bid for the naming rights to London’s Olympic Velodrome for when it reopens as part of the VeloPark next year, according to the website of Event magazine.

The venue will be owned by the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA), whose chief executive, Shaun Dawson, is reported to have told last week’s Global Sports Forum in Barcelona that the company had “'made the association between the brand and the velodrome” after it held a licensing event there at which some 3,000 employees were present.

The Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC), which is handling sponsorship of the legacy venues at the site, is currently inviting approaches from businesses interesting in acquiring naming rights. Neither it nor Coca-Cola would comment on the news, says Event magazine.

An Olympic sponsor since 1928, making it the movement’s longest standing commercial partner, the Atlanta-based business brought the Games to its home city in 1996.

Besides brands such as Fanta and Sprite, it also owns the Powerade sport drink brand;  British Cycling and Team Sky are both supplied by Gatorade, owned by Coca-Cola’s most bitter rival in soft drinks, PepsiCo.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.