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Coates demands Federal Money for sport

Coates demands Federal Money for sport
October 28, 2009
Sport /

Australian Olympic Committee President John Coates has stated that he will take a leadership position in agitating for more money for sport because the national sporting federations (NSOs) were too scared to take on the Federal Government for fear of a funding backlash.

Coates, who is waiting for the Government to release its 14-month review of sport by David Crawford, stated that NSO "are obviously careful not to upset the Government."

Speaking yesterday, Coates said it was a great pity the Government had allowed Australia to slide in the world rankings because of funding constraints. Recent figures show Australia has fallen to seventh, based on world performances in Olympic events this year, after being fourth on the medal tally at both the Sydney and Athens Olympics. Further decline is expected before the 2012 London Games due to a time-lag effect.

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) had submitted a specific Olympic plan costing just over $100 million to get rapid results and arrest the decline, but it was rejected in the last federal budget. Coates revealed he was been asked by Crawford why the lucrative millions earned by the International Olympic Committee did not underpin Australian sports on the Olympic program.

It is understood other stakeholders were questioned over why they didn't adopt a more professional self-sufficient model like the AFL.

However, Coates believes the answer was simple stating "if you are rugby league, Australian rules, rugby union or cricket then you can survive with 90% of your own efforts because they have the one thing that Olympic sports - except for perhaps swimming - has, and that is broadcast rights,''

''The IOC broadcast rights largely fund the Olympic Games themselves and pay for the host broadcast costs.''

Coates said the IOC gave $260 million after Beijing to the international federations, which flowed through to the Australian national federations, as well as making contributions to the World Anti-Doping Agency, the Court of Arbitration for Sport and the United States Olympic Committee.

The AOC Foundation, comprising $100 million from Sydney hosting the 2000 Olympics, has been used to underpin the costs of sending and preparing past Olympic teams. Nearly $65 million of proceeds from the foundation's investments has been spent on Australian Olympic sports in the past decade.

Opposition Spokesman for Sport Andrew Southcott said the delay in releasing the report was affecting Australia's international sporting performance.

"The time it has taken to undertake this review into sport is ridiculous," Southcott explained, adding "the Minister has the review (and) should release it without any further delay, and guarantee she will respond to it by the end of the year."

Minister Kate Ellis yesterday wrote on Twitter that she had received a report on body image in young women compiled by lifestyle writer Mia Freedman and model Sarah Murdoch - see:



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