May 10, 2017 / 3:35 AM / 2 years ago

Australia boss Coates disappointed by lack of Olympic funding

International Olympic Committee (IOC) Vice President and Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) President John Coates speaks after being re-elected to the position of AOC President at the body's annual general meeting in Sydney, Australia, May 6, 2017. REUTERS/David Gray

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australian Olympic Committee President John Coates has expressed disappointment with the lack of government funding for the nation’s Winter Olympians in the federal budget.

The annual budget delivered on Tuesday included A$50 million ($37 million) toward the home 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, most of which will be employed for security costs.

However, there was no additional funding offered for Winter Olympic sports in the leadup to next year’s Pyeongchang Games in South Korea.

“While I am sure the 20 Commonwealth Games sports and their athletes will be pleased with the additional one-off funding of A$15.5 million for their preparation it’s a pity this assistance is not permanent,” Coates, who was re-elected president on Saturday, said in a statement.

“With less than one year to go to the Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang I’m very disappointed that there is no indication of similar additional assistance for the Olympic winter sports, many of which are currently receiving nothing.

“And there is no indication of any funding for those Summer Olympic sports currently receiving nothing.”

Coates, an IOC vice president and one of the most powerful figures in world sport, has been at loggerheads with the Australian Sports Council, the funding arm of the federal government.

The veteran sports administrator accused ASC officials of plotting against him last year and for installing Olympic hockey gold medalist Danni Roche as a candidate to stand against him in Saturday’s presidential ballot.

Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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