Olympics 2016: Beware Team GB propaganda, says sports finance expert David Conn

'There is a propaganda element' to the Olympic Games, says journalist David Conn

Concerns over government funding for top athletes is rising

Monday, August 22, 2016

A leading British sports journalist has sounded a note of caution about the country's Olympic success, saying the glut of gold medals is due to the government flooding elite athletics with money for 'propaganda' purposes.

David Conn, a Guardian journalist and author of several books about sports finance, said similar tactics had been adopted by a number of "despicable regimes" in the past.

Britain came second in the medals table at the Olympics this year, with a total of 67 medals. But figures from UK sport suggest this success came at a cost of over £270 million and Conn has suggested there is a "propaganda element to it, if you're not careful".

"The government and the country are trying to say everything's fine, we're top of the world [when we win]," he explained. "That kind of propaganda has been used by some of the most despicable regimes in history. 

"Enormous money is being guaranteed by the government deliberately, and prioritised to make sure these very few elite athletes are basically perfect, but also the equipment.

"At the same time the money for community sports, the governments money for local authorities, has been massively cut since 2010."

Listen to the full interview to find out more