Australia will cut government funding to its top sports if they fail to bring governance standards up to scratch in the wake of the country’s London Olympics flop and the release of a clutch of embarrassing reports.
The Australian Sports Commission (ASC), which holds the purse strings for sports Down Under, said swimming, cycling, athletics, sailing, rowing, hockey and basketball were the most well-funded sports and the first to see cuts of up to 20% if they failed to meet new mandatory standards.
The ASC said standards included improving organisation structures, the board election processes and gender balance, and having zero tolerance for any lack of transparency on how sports spend money.
There will also be public company level requirements for sports financial reporting practices and proper supervision by boards of sports science practices.
“While good governance does not guarantee success, its absence almost certainly guarantees failure,” ASC chairman John Wylie said in a statement on Tuesday. Australia had its lowest medal haul in 20 years at the London Olympics.
A series of embarrassing revelations have since come to light, with reviews exposing disciplinary problems in the Olympic swim team, and a criminal probe finding “widespread” doping among both amateur and professional athletes.