Winter Olympics - Snowsport GB goes under

Eurosport - Fri, 05 Feb 12:30:00 2010

Snowsport GB, the governing body for skiing and snowboarding, has gone into administration just one week before the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Britain's Gillings competes in the quarter-final of the women's snowboard cross competition in Bardonecchia - 0

The news was expected following reports last month that the organisation needed a cash injection of more than £200,000 to stay afloat.

Administrators BDO have been appointed, while the BOA will take responsibility for the 14 skiers and snowboarders due to compete across four disciplines in Vancouver.

"It is with great regret that one of our governing bodies has gone into administration, particularly at such a critical time for our Olympic team," said BOA chairman Lord Colin Moynihan. "The national Olympic committee has immediately sought to implement a solution to this dilemma.†

"The athletes and coaches can rest assured that we will work around the clock to support them and help ensure that those involved in the sport can find the best possible structure for it going forward."

In a move to ensure the participation of British competitors at the Winter Olympics, the International Ski Federation have backed the BOA's move to mobilise a current dormant subsidiary company, Team GB Limited, to act as the temporary national governing body for ski and snowboarding.

However, the British Snowboard Association have issued a press release claiming they are ready to assume control of snowboarding in the UK - blaming a huge overspend on alpine skiing for Snowsport GB's demise.

"Reports indicate a huge SnowsportGB overspend, which has been difficult for the Snowboard Executive to accept with their programmes and great results continually being delivered within budget season after season," said a statement, issued by John O'Grady, chairman of the British Snowboard Association.

"It seems the financial problems within alpine skiing may have contributed to the downfall of SnowsportGB.†

"So, it is with the support of the snowboarding community that the BSA has reformed to ensure it regains control of British snowboarding and moves forward with the future of British snowboarding in the hands of snowboarders."

The politics looks set to overshadow British competitors' performances when the Winter Olympics get underway in seven days time, with leading alpine ski hopeful Chemmy Alcott owed more than £20,000 and coaching staff knowing they will return after the Games to uncertain futures.

But British snowboard medal hopeful Zoe Gillings (pictured) claims she is relieved she can now concentrate on her performance in Vancouver.

"It's been a difficult time for a lot of snowsport athletes, and I'm very hopeful that this will be a very positive step forward for skiers and snowboarders alike," she said.†

Follow the Winter Olympics 24/7 on British Eurosport (Sky 410 / Virgin 521) and Eurosport HD (Sky 412) British Eurosport channels are streamed online via the Eurosport Player.

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