• Olympics

Basketball fails to overturn funding cut

ESPN staff
March 19, 2014
Great Britain's men's basketball team lost four matches and failed to progress to the knockout stages at London 2012 © Getty Images

UK Sport have rejected an appeal by British Basketball for the body to reconsider its decision to withdraw all Olympic funding from the sport.

Basketball, which had been awarded £7 million over four years, was one of seven Olympic and Paralympic sports to have its budget completely withdrawn last month with the money reinvested in 18 other sports.

Weightlifting has had its funding restored following a successful appeal, but basketball, synchronised swimming, water polo and Paralympic sports wheelchair fencing, goalball and five-a-side football failed to convince UK Sport to reconsider.

British basketball's bubble burst

Gabe Olaseni is a centre for the Iowa Hawkeyes © Getty Images
  • "You kind of get the impression that they [UK Sport] aren't really interested in basketball. They wanted to take a step back."
  • NCAA college basketball star Gabe Olaseni believes young British players face an even bigger task of earning a crack at the United States after UK Sport's decision to withdraw all Olympic funding.
  • Click here to continue reading

The decision is part of UK Sport's 'No Compromise' policy that sees the 37 sports with "realistic medal potential for the Rio 2016 or Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games" prioritised with those sports that are not expected to bring medals receiving cuts.

Great Britain's men's basketball team suffered four defeats and failed to qualify for the knockout stages at the London 2012 Olympics, while the women's team lost five out of five matches.

"I accept that by its very nature 'No Compromise' is not universally popular but there's one thing we are sure of - it works," said UK Sport chair Rod Carr in a statement on the body's website.

"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.

"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.

"For the sports that are not yet at the level that we can continue to fund them it's important to recognise the vast majority of them do still benefit from other sources of considerable public funding driving participation and improving talent development through the Home Country Sports Councils."

In February, British Basketball accused UK Sport of "abandoning" the game following its initial decision.

Olympic funding for weightlifting now stands at £1.8 million, while badminton's total has been boosted to £5.9m after having £250,000 reinstated.

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