Athletics: British failure in Paris prompts wide review

British athletics is to undergo an independent review in the wake of its widely criticised performance at this summer's World Championships in Paris, in which the team won only two silver and two bronze medals.

Sir Andrew Foster, the former controller of the Audit Commission, will look into all aspects of the way the sport is organised and report back to Sport England by April of next year. One of the key areas he will be examining is the relationship between UK Athletics and the Amateur Athletic Association of England, which is holding up funding promised by the Government in the wake of the Picketts Lock fiasco.

The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Tessa Jowell, confirmed last year that £41m would be available to UK Athletics following the Government's decision not to stage the 2005 World Championships at the north London venue. Although £21m of that is already being distributed to capital projects, the rest will not be made available until the current system of three area bodies within the England AAA is replaced by one involving 10 regional hubs.

Foster commented that he wanted to improve the performances of recent years. "We will be asking probing questions because we must come up with real solutions and we will not duck the tough or difficult issues," he said.

* Mark Richardson, who was part of the 1991 4x400 metres relay World Championships gold medal-winning team, has announced his retirement after failing to recover from an Achilles injury.

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