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London 2012: Mayor Invites Rupert Murdoch to Swimming Event (Report)

DOWN: Rupert Murdoch

The News Corp. CEO and his wife Wendi are expected to join Boris Johnson pool-side on Friday.

LONDON - London mayor Boris Johnson has invited News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch and wife Wendi to an Olympics swimming final on Friday, the London Evening Standard reported Tuesday.

"Boris Johnson is taking Rupert Murdoch to Friday's Olympic swimming final," one of its political writers tweeted. "Boris has invited Rupert Murdoch and his wife Wendi Deng to the swimming final, likely to be contested by [British swim star] Rebecca Adlington."

The paper explained that Johnson invited the media mogul and other media and business leaders as his personal guests as he continues to use the Olympics as networking event and a place to showcase London as a business location.

In Murdoch's case, the invitation, described as long-standing, was issued because of News Corp.'s investment in British sport over the years, according to the paper. Among other media executives who were believed to have also been invited was Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger, but he was unable to attend, the Evening Standard said.

Representatives for News Corp. couldn't be reached for comment.

“As the Mayor has always said, he would use the Games to shamelessly promote London as the leading business hub in Europe," a spokesman for Johnson said. "With that aim in mind he’s meeting and will continue to meet a range of business and media executives at or on the margins of Olympic events to further London’s drive for investment that will spur jobs and growth."

As far as big-name attendees at the Olympics go, several members of the Royal Family on Tuesday turned out to watch Great Britain win silver in the equestrian team competition. Team Great Britain included Zara Phillips, Queen Elizabeth II's granddaughter.

In the audience, the TV cameras showed Prince William and wife Kate Middleton, Prince Harry and mother Princess Anne.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com
Twitter: @georgszalai