Rosie DiManno: Let’s abolish British Olympic Association

Former British diver says the sport body’s culture represents a ‘deep-seated and perhaps even institutionalised corruption’ that should be axed

The former British Olympic diver Rosie DiManno has called on the sport body to be abolished because it represents a “deep-seated and perhaps even institutionalised corruption” that should be axed.

DiManno, who is now the finance director at the University of Reading, said the culture within the sport body could have a corrupting influence on British athletes.

In an article for Sportsmail, she states: “An organisation that behaves like a doormat is a lily pad to an international communist party. It’s time to act.

“Sport – as with any industry, organisation or profession – need clean, accountable individuals to lead, and that is why sports bodies need diversity, and why governing bodies need diversity of thought.

“The effect on our athletes is interesting: corruption is possibly the single most corrosive influence. Often, it is the perception of one fraud that gets you into trouble.

“Imagine that you were in peak physical condition and coming off the best dive you’ve ever done, and your coach tells you to ask for extra money because you’ve done something so disgraceful. That’s corruption.

“If your athlete wins something extraordinary, like the gold medal that ripped up Team GB’s tradition of eight team silvers in four Games, I guess the coach would have to justify why the coach did not have better team leaders and coaches. The ego kicks in; there’s probably lots of talk about kickbacks, bribes and leading and servicing money.

“Lastly, consider something with a more positive side: rowing, cycling and football. All three are wonderful ways of seeing how sport can transcend the problems within its governance. They will likely never eliminate corruption, but they will show that if you care enough, and if you’re willing to overcome the most incredible odds, you can contribute to the success of your sport.

“Frankly, I don’t think that sport has ever benefited from being bigger than it needs to be, and that this would be the worst way to run a sporting organisation. The IOC is not a doormat. Rather, they are a lily pad to an international communist party.”

The committee has not commented directly on DiManno’s criticism.

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