Basketball bosses in funding vow

British Basketball has missed out on funding

Luol Deng is one of British basketball's standout players

First published in National Sport News © by

British Basketball has vowed to do everything in its power to regain its Olympic funding after UK Sport withdrew its entire award for the second year in succession.

The sport had won a reprieve last year and was handed £7million over four years - but three years of that was conditional on meeting performance targets which were missed.

British Basketball's performance director Roger Moreland said the sport was "aghast" at the decision which would have severe consequences for its future development.

Funding has also been withdrawn from synchronised swimming, water polo and weightlifting while a number of sports judged likely to win medals at the Rio 2016 Olympics have had their funding increased.

Moreland said basketball would launch an appeal, and claimed there was a bias against team sports in the funding system.

He told Press Association Sport: "We will appeal - we will do everything we can.

"There is a gap in the system and is appears to show a bias against team sports and emerging sports. Hockey is the only Olympic team sport now being funded.

"Is there no place in this system for a sport like ours which already has a huge participation base bigger than rugby union and cricket and is the second team sport to football, rather than just targeting medals?

"This will mean cutting in half the coaches, the training programmes, the sports science and sports medicine programmes on the road to Rio."

Liz Nicholl, chief executive of UK Sport, insisted that giving money to basketball would have diminished medal chances in other sports, and that the body had to stick by its strict 'no compromise' approach. She also denied there was any bias against team sports.

She said: "It is disappointing for basketball but if we compromise our investment and fund sports that have not got a realistic prospect of winning medals we will compromise those sports that can deliver.

"There is not a bias against team sports - we are funding hockey, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby."

She also denied it would rob basketball of developing its athletes to become role models.

"They are hardly role models if they are not winning - they become role models by winning," said Nicholl.

Several sports have been given an increase in funding with the big winner being triathlon, whose money goes up from £5.5million to £7.5million, a 36 per cent increase. Others with increased funding include canoeing, fencing, gymnastics, hockey, judo, sailing, shooting and taekwondo.

Sports whose funding has been reduced are swimming and badminton, while all others sports' money remains the same.

In Paralympic sport, funding has been withdrawn from five-a-side football, goalball and wheelchair fencing, while para-canoe has received the biggest increase.

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