UK Athletics risks £27m funding cut following recent scandal

Georgia Goulding
Dina Asher-Smith of Great Britain celebrates winning the gold medal in the women's 200 meter final at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
UK Athletics could face up to a £27m cut in funding. (AP Photo)

The chief executive of UK Sport Sally Munday has warned that UK Athletics risks a huge plummet in funding following a chaotic 10 months.

In the wake of recent turmoil, including the loss of its chief executive, chair and performance director, UK Athletics could be faced with a £27million cut if it fails to address its issues.

“We have a responsibility to make sure we invest in sports that have the right standards, systems and culture,” stated Munday, who will meet with UKA to discuss the recent scandal involving Zara Hyde Peters.

Munday has pre-warned chairman Chris Clark that UKA could be facing significant adjustments in financial support but has insisted she won’t be making any “knee-jerk” reactions.

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Hyde Peters was announced as UKA’s new CEO but was deemed untenable for the position before reaching her December 1st start date.

According to The Times, the former distance runner came under fire after she failed to inform the local athletics club where her husband was coaching about his “inappropriate relationship” with a 15-year-old schoolgirl.

The 55-year-old was vice-chair of the same athletics club, the Coventry Godiva Harriers. Peters admitted that her husband had continued coaching despite being banned, but she insisted “he never coached athletes under the age of 18”.

“We do an annual review with every sport, looking at its performance and governance and how it is managed – and clearly the outcome of those reviews influences our discussions about how we invest,” Munday added about her upcoming meeting with Clark.

“They [UKA] are clearly having some difficulties and we are in conversation with them about how we can support them to ensure that athletics, from a leadership and governance point of view, gets back on the right track.”

UK Athletics lost their chair Richard Bowker earlier this year after he stepped down ahead of a vote of no-confidence.

“It would be very easy in this situation to make a knee-jerk reaction,” continued Munday. “Things unfolded pretty quickly over the weekend and I think it’s appropriate to take a deep breath, step back, and have a conversation about what’s the best thing to do now to get things right for the long term.”

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