Blow for Radcliffe as veteran marathon runner loses Lottery funding
11:01 GMT, 15 October 2012
Paula Radcliffe heads a host of athletes who have had their National Lottery funding withdrawn.
The marathon world record holder has been removed from the World Class Performance Programme for 2013, UK Athletics have confirmed.
The 39-year-old missed the London 2012 Olympics through injury and has only raced one marathon since 2009, in Beijing last year.
Cash blow: Radcliffe has been removed from the list of athletes benefitting from Lottery funding
UKA have narrowed the focus for funding from athletes with top-eight potential to those who are major championship medal contenders in the next Olympic cycle.
The move casts doubt over the world record holder's future in the sport after a number of setbacks in recent seasons.
Racliffe had been on podium-level funding, the highest level of Lottery support, which runs from around 13,000 to 26,000 and is in addition to non-financial help like access to coaches, facilities, medical staff and training camps.
Several other senior names have also seen their funding taken away, including Radcliffe's fellow marathon runner Mara Yamauchi, veteran sprinters Marlon Devonish and Mark Lewis-Francis, European 400m hurdles champion Rhys Williams, former European 800m silver medallist Michael Rimmer, Commonwealth 1500m bronze medallist Steph Twell, former world 400m silver medallist Nicola Sanders and 800m runner Marilyn Okoro.
UKA said a significant number of athletes had exited the programme as they are not deemed medal contenders in 2016 or because they had not met agreed performance targets for the previous year.
Dropped: Devonish and Lewis-Fracis will also see their funding cut
UKA performance director Neil Black said: 'Being part of the World Class Performance Plan is a privilege and not a right and athletes selected will be expected to fulfil tough performance criteria.
'We have identified a very talented group of athletes for support over the coming year and I am confident that we can build on the success of the last Olympic and Paralympic cycle starting with the European Indoors in Gothenburg in March.
'Accountability is at the heart of this programme and athletes who have not met performance criteria over the last year will not receive continued support. It is undoubtedly tough, but that is performance sport.'
Athletes who impressed at the Olympics have been rewarded for their performances with increased funding.
High jump bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz has been promoted to podium funding, along with world junior 100m champion Adam Gemili.
Rising heptathlon star Katarina Johnson-Thompson, discus thrower Lawrence Okoye and sprint hurdler Lawrence Clarke have also been added to the podium ranks.
Leap of faith: Garabarz is one of those whose funding will be boosted
A further group of athletes, considered potential medallists at the 2020 Games, have been given lower-level podium potential support.
The programme also includes Paralympic athletes and amputee sprinter Jonnie Peacock has been rewarded for his T44 100m gold with podium funding.
UKA Paralympic head coach Peter Eriksson said: 'We have had to take a number of difficult decisions in this funding cycle, but this is the strongest group of athletes we have selected to the Paralympic Programme since I arrived in 2009.
'We had an outstanding Paralympic Games in London and our focus is now on bettering that in four years time.'