Should criminals be barred from Lottery funds?

From UK Sport

UK Sport, the nation’s high performance sports agency, has today launched a consultation for feedback on its proposed new policy on eligibility for funding for athletes and Athlete Support Personnel (ASP).

UK Sport logo (small)UK Sport’s primary focus is to invest in and support Olympic and Paralympic athletes, in order to enable them to win medals for Team GB and ParalympicsGB at the Games. As part of this public responsibility, guided by Royal Charter and National Lottery Directions, UK Sport encourages, supports and promotes the highest of ethical standards and conduct from recipients of its funding, which is crucial to upholding the positive impact of sport on society. This is particularly pertinent following London 2012, where it was hoped that athletes would “inspire a generation” to choose sport.

For some time, UK Sport has had an eligibility policy that prevents those athletes or ASPs that have committed a serious doping violation from benefiting from its funding. However, other areas of misconduct have never before been considered in this context and the purpose of this new policy is to ensure all areas of misconduct among athletes and ASP are treated with the same level of rigour.

UK Sport is seeking feedback from key parties for whom changes to this policy may present significant issues in implementation once the policy is formally introduced, as well as interested members of the public.

In summary the key change is that, in an addition to serious doping offences, any athlete or ASP will be deemed ineligible to receive public funding and/or publicly funded benefits from UK Sport if they:

  • Have an unspent conviction for a criminal offence in the United Kingdom or similar offence in a foreign jurisdiction.
  • Commit a breach or violation of the rules on betting, corrupt conduct and match-fixing.
  • Bring themselves and/or the National Lottery or UK Sport into disrepute.
  • Knowingly or deliberately made false statements to UK Sport; and/or fail to make full and frank disclosure of their circumstances to UK Sport that affect their application or nomination to receive Public Funding and/or Publicly Funded Benefits.

Liz Nicholl, the chief executive of UK Sport, said: “We take our responsibility for distributing public and National Lottery funds very seriously, and are keen to remind athletes that funding is very much a privilege, not a right. Our sportsmen and women have huge potential to act as role models in our society, and the vast majority do so fantastically well, but we want to ensure we are doing all we can to encourage and promote the highest standards of conduct.

“We are seeking feedback on this policy change from key parties who may be affected by its implementation, in particular sports, athletes and our partner organisations, but also members of the public who feel strongly about this issue.”

The consultation will be open for feedback for four weeks from Monday 12 August until Monday 9 September and is available to view on the UK Sport website here:


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