Lizzy Yarnold condemns GB Bobsleigh over funding withdrawal
Skeleton star Lizzy Yarnold has condemned British Bobsleigh after the governing body withdrew the women’s team funding ahead of the Winter Olympics.
The British Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association decided to focus its funding on its three men’s teams reported the BBC.
The decision leaves the women’s team participation in the upcoming PyeongChang Games in the balance, with driver Mica McNeill having set up a crowd funding page in the hope of competing.
And Yarnold, a gold medal winner in the Skeleton at the Sochi, has condemned the decision.
"It's hard to see talent and hard work go to waste because of mismanagement," said Yarnold.
" Everyone deserves their moment to make their dreams come true."
British Bobsleigh made the decision to cut the team’s funding earlier this week.
"The GB Bobsleigh programme is currently focusing resources on winning medals at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang,” said British Bobsleigh at the time.
"We are actively seeking commercial funding to further support our world class programme and we will continue to do so."
The BBSA is the country's best funded winter sports body with £11.5 million, £6.5 million going to skeleton and £5 million for bobsleigh, allocated for the four-year cycle to PyeongChang.
Mica McNeill of Great Britain is dejected after her fourth run with Natalie Deratt in the Women's Bobsleigh during Day 2 of the IBSF World Championships for Bob and Skeleton at Olympiabobbahn Igls on February 13, 2016 in Innsbruck, AustriaGetty Images
"I know that bobsleigh is an expensive sport but I just am really disappointed that it has come to this," McNeill told the BBC.
" They tried to tell us it was because we weren't medal potential but I said, 'You're funding three men's crews."
"I said, 'Why don't you just be honest and say you're not funding us because there's no money?', and they said, 'Yes, it's because there's no money -- if there was we'd be funding you'."
Bobsleigh's funding was cut by some 50,000 pounds this year, with implementation of "an agreed Culture Action Plan" a condition of the award.
The British body has been embroiled in controversy, with an independent review launched after allegations by some top athletes of a 'toxic atmosphere'.
Performance director Gary Anderson and head coach Dominik Scherrer, a Swiss, have left in the past month, although there has been no suggestion of any wrongdoing by either man.
Three times Olympian Lee Johnston was named the new head coach last Saturday.
With additional reporting from Reuters