BOA Chief Andy Anson criticises World Athletics’ decision to reward Gold Medalists at Paris Olympics

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Andy Anson

The recent decision by World Athletics to award cash prizes to gold medallists at the Paris Olympics has stirred controversy and criticism. Andy Anson, the chief of the British Olympic Association (BOA), has voiced his concerns, stating that this move creates a problem.

World Athletics, under the leadership of President Sebastian Coe, announced that gold medallists at the Paris Olympics would receive $50,000. This decision marks a significant departure from a 128-year tradition, as sports have never awarded prize money in the history of the Olympics.

Andy Anson questions the Spirit of the Olympics on prize money announced by World Athletics

“I think what wasn’t great about the announcement last week is when one sport goes off and does something on their own, doesn’t include the other sports, the IOC or the National Olympic Committees,” Anson told Sky Sports on Wednesday.

Anson’s criticism stems from the unilateral nature of the decision. He expressed his disappointment that World Athletics made this announcement without including other sports, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), or the National Olympic Committee. This move has led to scrutiny and pressure from athletes in other sports, who are now questioning why their sports can’t offer similar rewards.

The decision by World Athletics also took other sports federations by surprise. David Lappartient, the president of the cycling governing body (UCI), stated that World Athletics had not discussed the move with other federations and that it went against the Olympic spirit. The Olympic spirit, according to Lappartient, is to share revenues and have more athletes compete worldwide, not just put all the money on the top athletes.

Anson echoed these sentiments, emphasizing that the strength of the Olympic family lies in all sports working together. He criticized World Athletics’ decision as inappropriate and unhelpful. Furthermore, he warned that this move could lead to a two-tier Olympics, where only a small number of top-performing athletes receive financial rewards.

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