sport

UK Sport confirm funding cuts

UK Sport has announced its decision to withdraw funding from Olympic sports basketball, synchronised swimming and water polo will stand.

The funding body has also stood by its decision to cut all funds from Paralympics sports goalball, visually-impaired football and wheelchair fencing.

UK Sport has changed its decision about women's weightlifting and reinstated money totalling 894,000 in the build-up to the Rio 2016 Olympics, while badminton has been awarded an extra 250,000.

UK Sport chairman Rod Carr admitted that the decisions on zero funding, confirming the original announcement last month, would be unpopular in some quarters.

He said: "I accept that by its very nature 'No Compromise' is not universally popular but there's one thing we are sure of - it works.

"The recent outstanding successes at the Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Games demonstrated once again that investing the right money, in the right athletes, for the right reasons, is a winning formula."

Carr added: "The starting point for UK Sport and the Board is that we want to be able to invest in as many Olympic and Paralympic sports as possible but they must be able to credibly demonstrate medal winning potential within eight years.

"Weightlifting came back to us with a compelling new strategy focussed on developing their most talented female athletes with a view to challenging for medals by Tokyo 2020."

Carr said sports that are not at that level would still receive public funding driving from bodies such as Sport England which aim to boost grass-roots participation and talent development.

Liz Nicholl, Chief Executive of UK Sport, said: "Thirty sports won medals at London 2012 and over the remaining years of this Rio cycle UK Sport will be investing in 37 sports with credible medal potential for 2016 or 2020. This is a really positive demonstration of the incredible progress of the UK's high performance system since National Lottery funding came on stream."

British Basketball said the news was "very disappointing" and that it consider carefully whether or not a formal appeal will be made in the near future.

Roger Moreland, Performance Chairman for British Basketball said: "Winning medals now and in the future should be celebrated, but we need to consider its impact.

"Basketball has a grassroots base bigger than any other British Olympic team sport. A funding system with nearly 350 million pounds available for elite sport cannot be working to the best of its ability, if it can leave sports like basketball behind."

British Swimming are considering a formal appeal, branding the move as "a very dark and sad day for British sport."