Bell fumes at funding

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Graham Bell, Britain's leading downhiller, has attacked the funding of the national ski team.

The British Ski Federation's grant from the Sports Council has been cut from the pounds 325,000 they had before the Lillehammer Games to pounds 120,000 as they prepare for the 1998 Olympics. Bell, who is aiming for a place in the world's top 30 this season, said the situation was "ridiculous".

"Sport in this country is the worst funded in the whole of western Europe," he said. "We're decades behind."

The Sports Council is reviewing the grant, but the BSF chief executive, Jonathan Bayntun, believes his organisation is trapped in a vicious circle. "There's no funding without results and no results without funding," he said.