It is the word the 2012 Games have dreaded: boycott – one which has bedevilled the Olympics over the years. Now there is talk of one in London, though thankfully not of the Games themselves but potentially damaging nonetheless.
A group called the Sportsman's Association are calling for all connected with shooting not to assist with the running of the event in 2012 because of the decision to stage the sport at "unsuitable" Woolwich Arsenal, rather than world-famous Bisley. They are also orchestrating a protest march over the Government's "discrimination" against pistol shooting and the savage reduction in funding (75 per cent) which could end the Olympic dreams of talented young shooters like Charlotte Kerwood.
They want all judges, referees and club shooters not to volunteer their services in London. "Unlike Bisley, Woolwich will leave no legacy," says the Association's Albie Fox. British Shooting and the British Olympic Association are distancing themselves from the protest.
"Hosting the event at Woolwich in the 2012 heartland allows us to deliver a compact Games," says BOA chief executive Andy Hunt.
"Legacy is not always about bricks and mortar but bringing the Games to a new audience." The cuts imposed on shooting, ironically a victim of government-led targets, has caused the loss of able performance director John Leighton-Dyson, who is now coaching rivals Denmark.
No wonder the sport feels it has been shot in the back.
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BoHo bridge sporting gap
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Burnham faces a clubbing
Culture Secretary Andy Burnham, so moved by the Hillsborough memorial service at Anfield that he personally instigated moves to reopen police files, faces a grilling from sports leaders at the CCPR conference on Wednesday on what the Government plans to do to help ailing sports clubs in the recession.Reuse content