The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Britain strips basketball teams of Olympic funding despite NBA asking gov't to back the sport

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LONDON - The British government has cut funding for the country's Olympic basketball program ahead of the 2016 Games.

Basketball received 8.6 million pounds ($14 million) in the four years before the 2012 London Olympics where Britain qualified as hosts.

But UK Sport, which distributes money from the government and National Lottery, has decided basketball doesn't offer a realistic prospect of producing a medal in Rio de Janeiro.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said last month the London Olympics were a "lost opportunity" and questioned why the government wasn't backing basketball.

Roger Moreland, performance chairman at British Basketball, is "aghast" at the decision to strip funding, explaining: "We are still on the road to Rio but we now have to qualify for EuroBasket 2015 with our hands tied behind our back."

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