THERE are growing concerns that parts of the British Olympic training set-up are mired in bullying and sexism.

Adding fuel to the fire is the shock news that British Bobsleigh is freezing funding from its women’s team – just five months before the Winter Olympics. Funding for the men’s teams is still being paid.

County Durham’s Mica McNeill – the top female driver and junior bobsleigh World Champion – said she was “gutted and shocked” to be told by bosses there was no money left to fund her because of an overspend.

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The crisis-hit British Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association (BBSA) has got itself into a dreadful mess in recent months. Despite getting £10m of public money in the run up to the Pyeongchang 2018 Games, UK Sport cut its support by £50,000 this summer after a group of athletes complained of a “toxic atmosphere” in the sport. Ironically that £50,000 would have been more than enough to help fund Mica’s dream to represent her country.

An independent review has been launched into allegations of bullying, racism and sexism within BBSA. In the meantime, Mica, who is from Consett, has launched a fundraising campaign to guarantee her participation at the Olympics.

We understand that only a limited amount of public funding can be made available to support British athletes and that the decisions on which competitors and sports get money is largely based on their likelihood of winning medals, but allegations of sexism within the camp followed by the withdrawal of funding for the women’s team leaves a bad taste in the mouth. We urge BBSA to reconsider its decision.