Dec 19 2012
UK Sport has pulled no punches in its funding allocation towards the Rio Olympics with sports that failed to make the grade at London having their income slashed.
Cycling, rowing, boxing, gymnastics, equestrian and Paralympic sports all received big rises from UK Sport's record £347million pot for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games. Athletics, sailing and taekwondo also enjoyed significant rises, but the likes of swimming, basketball, volleyball and handball were all hit hard after failing to hit their targets this summer.
The 15% cut in swimming's funding to £21.4million was expected, but the withdrawal of all financial support for Britain's basketball teams was not.
British Basketball reacted angrily to the announcement, with performance chairman Roger Moreland describing the action as "devastating" and adding that previous investment had been a "waste". He added: "It doesn't seem much of a legacy from 2012 to dash the hopes and aspirations of a sport whose heartland is founded in Britain's inner cities."
But minister for sport Hugh Robertson denied that was the case and backed UK Sport's 'compromise' approach. He said: "Basketball teams are expensive. If they have no chance of qualifying for Rio would you want to fund them and then take the money away from a cyclist or rower who has a good chance of getting a medal?
"When you host an Olympic Games you have to put teams out in every sport. The funding for Rio is done on a performance basis and there is not a lot of point at this level in funding teams who are not going to qualify for the Olympics because as we saw this summer, what everyone likes to see is a successful Team GB. You have to make hard choices."
Handball, table tennis, wrestling, wheelchair fencing and sitting volleyball are the other sports to have their funding completely taken away. Swimming, meanwhile, suffered a drop of almost £4million in funding after picking up only three medals - the sport had been set a target of five to seven medals at London 2012.
Swimming, along with judo, fencing and boxing, will have also to report back to UK Sport at the end of every year to justify the release of the funds assigned to their sport for the following year.
UK Sport chief executive Liz Nicholl, said: "They [swimming] are leaderless at the moment. They have no performance director or head coach at this point in time. Those appointments have to be made.
"They have to bed in and convince us that they are now settled, focused and can achieve their real potential in Rio and then we will invest for the remaining three years."