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British sprinter James Ellington's future in doubt 'because of a cut in his funding'

British sprinter James Ellington says he’s been let down by British Athletics when he’s at his most ‘vulnerable’.

James Ellington Credit: PA

The athlete, who has been out injured since a motorbike crash in January, has been told he wont receive his annual £21,000 lottery funding.

Credit: PA

It’s always put out there, team, team, team, and it’s great when you’re running fast and shining. Everyone is your best friend and shows that they care, but when you’re down and you need the team, you see the truth. When I’m at my most vulnerable, and I need help the most, I'm living on a three-month basis where I have to make sure I’m hitting targets, and it’s daunting and it’s that support that enables me to train full-time.

– James Ellington, British sprinter
Credit: PA

He was part of the British teams who won gold in the 4x100m relay at the 2014 and 2016 European Championships, and last year he was in the peak of his career, running the 100m in under 10 seconds.

But 10 months ago he and training partner Nigel Levine were injured in a motorbike accident near their training camp in Tenerife. He spent five days in intensive care with a broken leg and a fractured pelvis, amongst other injuries.

The 32-year-old is is aiming to get back on track in time for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 and says he will keep pushing to achieve his Olympic dream with or without public funding.

I will be coming back, I will be working to get back into the position I was in. I can still compete at an elite level. As long as my bone heals completely, in my mind there’s no reason why I can’t be at that level again.

– James Ellington, British sprinter

British Athletics have told ITV News they, along with UK Sport, will keep financially supporting Ellington outside their World Class funding programme until February, and potentially beyond, depending on assessments of his rehabilitation progress.

They add that the programme, which is funded by the lottery and government, is aimed at supporting athletes most likely to win medals, specifically in the lead up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.