UK Sport stands by decision

  • Last Updated: March 19 2014, 15:36 GMT

Sport has rejected appeals against its decision to withdraw funding from Olympics sports basketball, synchronised swimming and women's water polo.

Basketball has lost funding
Basketball has lost funding

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.

British Swimming called on sports minister Helen Grant to intervene and said it would consider a formal appeal to the independent Sports Resolutions UK body.

"This is a very dark and sad day for British sport - especially for women's sport," said British Swimming chief executive David Sparkes.

"How can an elite programme such as synchro, which has long been held by UK Sport as a model of world class athlete development and leadership, that has achieved all of its performance indicators since it first received funding, have its funding removed just 12 months after it was enhanced?

"It is a sport that has never failed to deliver on its performance promises and this decision beggars belief - it clearly highlights a fundamental flaw in the UK Sport funding system.

"On behalf of water polo, synchro and other Olympic sports that face the real possibility of dying out as a result of today's announcement, we call on the sports minister to show leadership in this area by looking at the entire funding system for elite sport."

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