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Athletics

Volume 32: debated on Wednesday 24 November 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what action he proposes to take in response to suggestions that he should conduct an inquiry into the state of athletics.

I have today asked the Sports Council for an appraisal of the finances of athletics. The Government, through their agencies throughout the United Kingdom, contribute some £360,000 each year to the various athletics bodies. The organisation of athletics is a matter for the sport itself, but, as the responsible Minister, I am concerned about safeguarding our considerable public investment and to sustain the recent successes of our athletes.I have therefore asked the Sports Council chairman to conduct an urgent analysis of the finances of British athletics to determine whether he is satisfied that the public money spent on athletics is used in the most beneficial way for the sport. In undertaking this investigation, I have asked Mr. Dick Jeeps to take account of the money received by athletics from non-public sources and, in the light of this, to advise on how the taxpayers' money can in future be used to the best advantage in athletics.