‘We don’t want them…they are not welcome’: UK Sport warn ‘bad people’ won’t be tolerated in the Olympic and Paralympic system after announcing £352m budget to last until Paris 2024
- UK Sport will split the money for the Paris games cycle between 43 sports
- They have insisted they will ditch their ‘no compromise approach’ to medals
- They will instead place more focus on their athletes following welfare scandals
UK Sport have warned ‘bad people are not welcome’ in the Olympic and Paralympic system after announcing a record £352million budget to take them through to Paris 2024.
The elite sport funding agency will split the money – which is a small increase on the £345m pot they had for the Tokyo Games cycle – between 43 sports, including climbing, skateboarding and surfing for the first time.
But UK Sport also insist they are ditching their ‘no compromise’ approach to winning medals and will instead place more focus on the treatment of athletes following a string of welfare scandals.
UK Sport have announced a record £352m budget to take them through to Paris 2024
UK Sports will focus more on athletes welfare after scandals such as abuse in gymnastics
‘We are still very focused on wanting to win – but we want to win the right way,’ said UK Sport chief executive Sally Munday.
‘We believe that athletes can successfully win medals and have a really incredibly positive experience. It’s not either/or.
‘I want our sporting community to be known internationally for its people-first approach, and also known for upholding the highest standards of integrity.
‘There is simply no place in our sports family for anyone who doesn’t want to play by the right ethics and the right standards.
‘Bad people will try and infiltrate and be part of our system. We don’t want them. They are not welcome.
‘We will ask everyone in the system to work with us to get rid of those people. If that requires us to remove money from sports, then that is what we will do.’
Gymnastics was the latest sport to be hit by allegations of bullying and abuse this year and is currently the subject of an independent review.
Their budget has decreased from £13.4m to £12.5m but Munday says sports face major cuts in the future if they do not uphold standards.
She has also announced UK Sport will launch a new integrity strategy next year so sports are ‘clear on where the line is’.
A number of sports have had increases in fundings for 2024 with cycling awarded the most
UK sport chair, Dame Katherine Grainger, added: ‘These decisions mark a significant step change in our investment approach.
‘Success for us moving forward will be all about how we win. The integrity of high-performance sport demands it. We have to be winning well otherwise the winning itself matters less.’
Munday also thanked the Government for increasing the budget – which also covers the run-up to the rearranged Tokyo Games – given the ‘really difficult financial times for our country’.
No sports have had their funding cut altogether for Paris 2024, with cycling awarded the most – £27.6m up from £24.6m. Archery and badminton have also had increases.
‘Progression’ sports including skateboarding, basketball and climbing will get boosts for 2024
However sports such as rowing, sailing and gymnastics will all have cuts to funding
Two of Team GB’s most successful sports, rowing and sailing, have had cuts (£2.5m and £0.9m respectively) but Munday believes they will ‘continue to be successful with the funding that they’ve received’.
Some of the cash that has been cut from those budgets has gone towards a new pot for seven ‘progression’ sports – basketball, climbing, fencing, skateboarding, surfing, table tennis and weightlifting.
Grainger added: ‘These sports will play an important role in a wider shift for us to take a 12-year view of success and to kick-start the search for the next generation of British champions.’