The military is to provide up to 3,500 extra troops for security duty at the Olympics amid fears that private firm G4S will not be able to supply enough personnel, a Whitehall source has said.
The move, just a fortnight before the Games, is potentially a major embarrassment for organisers Locog.
The overall 23,700-strong security force for the Games will include a mix of military, private security guards and at least 3,000 unpaid London 2012 volunteers who will be used at the start of the security process.
A G4S spokeswoman said: "This has been an unprecedented and very complex security recruitment, training and deployment exercise which has been carried out to a tight timescale. We have encountered some issues in relation to workforce supply and scheduling over the last couple of weeks, but are resolving these every day and remain committed to providing a security workforce for the start of the London 2012 Games."
She went on: "Our planning with Locog and other security agencies allows for a variety of contingencies which have been reviewed in the build-up to the Games. We accept that the Government has decided to overlay additional resources. We remain committed to keeping London 2012 safe and secure."