Olympic Games: Athletes attack slowness to invest in 2012 hopefuls

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The Independent Online

British Olympic Association officials fear London 2012 could turn into an embarrassment for the hosts after a pre-Budget report failed to mention funding for élite athletes.

The BOA and UK Sport had expected athletes to be provided with support for facilities and coaches to help Great Britain towards the top of the medal table when the Chancellor, Gordon Brown, announced his spending plans yesterday.

The BOA chief executive, Simon Clegg, now fears time is running out for funding to be put in place, with five months already passed since London was awarded the 2012, and he has promised to take the matter to the "highest level of Government".

Clegg said: "Already we've lost five months in an 85-month project. If we wait until the Budget that is 10 months in total. The governing bodies cannot deliver the sort of results we aspire to by short-term funding."

Clegg fears the result could be a medal shortage, adding: "The sole measurement of the Games will not be on how efficient the organising committee is, not how beautifully architectured the designs of the stadiums are - it will be decided on how many British athletes stand on the podium and collect medals."